Sara Summers found the sun and the J.B. Ford

The Heritage Marine tugs Nels J. (at left below) and Helen H. (above and on the right below) escorted the J. B. Ford on her last trip on October 9, 2015, going from her long time layup dock in Superior to the Azcon scrapyard in Duluth. The three vessels made the trip with the just rising sun making good shots a challenge but Sara Summers, a Park Ranger at the Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center (the Marine Museum at the Duluth ship canal), was up to the task, as these two shots demonstrate.

Last trip for the J. B. Ford


J. B. Ford to be towed to Azcon scrapyard in Duluth

Update: As of now (11:10 am, October 8, 2015,  the J. B. Ford is set to be towed from its current location to the Azcon scrapyard on Friday morning, October 9, 2015 sometime after 8:00 am. If that changes, I will update here.

In for grain, out with coal

The Federal Asahi came in from the anchorage on Tuesday afternoon, September 29, 2015 to load grain at CHS 2 in Superior. This is her 7th visit to Duluth Superior since she was built in 2000 and her second trip this season; she was also here in May. Once in the harbor, she passed the Indiana Harbor, on her way out with 68,000 tons of  coal loaded at Midwest Energy Resources for the Detroit Edison power plant in St. Clair, Michigan.

Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge lifts for 2 boats

On September 27, 2015, the Aerial Lift Bridge made a lift for 2 boats, the Tim S. Dool, arriving here with cement to discharge, and the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr., leaving with coal.

First signs of winter

The tourists are gone so the city only needs half of the Blue Bridge to take care of those left behind and below, you can already see the metalwork above the sidewalk that will light up our walk through the park. Bentleyville, our spectacular winter wonderland, is setting up for Christmas. And as their web site reminds us today, Sunday, September 27, 2015, there are only 55 days, 4 hours, 24 minutes and 13 seconds until Bentleyville opens.

A busy, beautiful day in Duluth Minnesota

(Click full screen icon at lower right of video screen) I decided to walk to work today; it was a beautiful day in Duluth Minnesota with a lot going on. I like trains and the folks at the North Shore Scenic Railroad were just getting started for the day. I looked behind the train and saw the apartment where I now live and just left.

Across the street, Pier B Resort is on schedule to open next June.

The Duluth Hot Air Balloon Festival was on but I could only find lots of people flying kites. They are waiting until late this afternoon for the balloons. Lake Superior Helicopters was there to provide a new way to see Duluth as well as check wind and weather for the Balloon folks.

The NorthShore Inline Marathon was finishing up as I walked to my office.

I found some fishing boats coming in for the day and behind them, the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. was departing after a long, short term layup. She had coal for the Detroit Edison power plant in St. Clair, Michigan. Mr. McCarthy retired from his position as Chairman of the Board of Detroit Edison in 1990. He died on July 24, 2013.

Algoma Mariner with coal for Nova Scotia

The Algoma Mariner (above) departs Duluth on September 13, 2015 with 30,000 tons of coal for Nova Scotia. She was built in either 1979 or 2011. The Algoport (below) was built in 1979 and was to donate her after-end or stern  to a brand new forebody. This work was to be done in China so the Algoport was towed to China but sank in the China Sea in September, 2009 and never made it. A brand new after-end was built in China and connected to the new forebody making this boat (above), a brand new boat. But I always like to point out that the stern you see above should have been the stern of the Algoport you see below as she approached the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge on August 1, 2000.

Duluth comings and goings

The Buffalo arrived Duluth at 11:23 on Tuesday evening, September 8, 2015. Above, she departed under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge the next morning at 11:00. Below, she is turning in the harbor toward the bridge, on her way to Silver Bay to load iron ore pellets. She will take some of the pellets to the Cleveland Bulk Terminal located at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland. They will then move up the river to the Mittal steel plant to discharge the remainder.
Despite the Maltese flag, the Pilica (above and below) is owned by the Polish Steamship Company. She was built in Poland in 1999 and usually carries a Polish crew. She is loading grain at Riverland Ag (formerly Cargill) on this her 13th visit to the Twin Ports (arriving on September 7th). Time flies when you are getting old; I remember boarding the ship on May 23rd, 2000 when she had just been built and was making her first trip to the St. Lawrence Seaway. Fifteen years ago, it was a thrill to see such a brand new ship. Today, it is fun to welcome her as a seasoned veteran of the Duluth Superior grain trade.
Below, the American Century arrived Duluth on Tuesday evening, September 8, 2015 to load coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior. Just above, she departed the next morning  with 68,000 tons of low sulfur coal she will deliver to the St. Clair electrical generation plant of Detroit Edison.

The Vikingbank and Sea Bear come in to port together

The Vikingbank had been waiting at anchor for several days and came into port on Labor Day, September 7, 2015. This is her 6th trip to the Twin Ports since she was built in 2012. She was just here on June 14th this summer when she loaded beet pulp pellets; she will load the same cargo on this trip, taking it to Ireland where it will be used as animal feed.
In all ports in the world, a visiting ship is required to have a local pilot on board who knows the harbor and its many variations. The Sea Bear, the local pilot boat,  took a pilot out to the Vikingbank so she could come in to port. Here they both are returning to port.

Labor Day in Duluth – people, boats and good weather

The Mesabi Miner arrived in the Duluth ship canal around 4 this afternoon (Labor Day, September 7, 2015) and the Vikingbank arrived shortly after her. The Cason J. Callaway and the Presque Isle came in this morning. Still to come today: the Lee A. Tregurtha will be arriving and the Pilica is due in from the anchorage. Later, the Nordana Emilie and the Cason J. Callaway are expected to depart.

John G. Munson whistles a happy tune leaving Duluth

The John G. Munson departed Duluth on Tuesday afternoon, September 1, 2015, after loading iron ore pellets at the CN dock in West Duluth. It was her 13th trip to Duluth Superior this season. She made 20 trips last season. Listen to her whistle as she came under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge.

American Courage leaves for Silver Bay

The American Courage arrived Saturday evening with limestone to discharge at the Graymont dock in Superior. This morning (Sunday, August 30, 2015), she departed Duluth for Silver Bay to load iron ore pellets. She was built in 1979 as the Fred R. White Jr.  at Sturgeon Bay and is 636 feet long with 20 hatches that open into 5 cargo holds. She can load 23,800 tons of cargo.
She was originally named for a man who started work as an accountant in the operations department of Columbia Transportation Company in 1935. He held many leadership positions with the company. In June, 2006, the boat was sold by Oglebay Norton to American Steamship and given her current name. She made 9 trips here last year; this is her 3rd trip this season.

More wind turbine blades for Minnesota Power

HHL Tyne arrived under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge in the early evening of August 26, 2015 with her deck piled high with wind turbine blades.

UMD Marching band come to the Marine Museum

Today, August 22, 2015, the University of Minnesota Duluth Marching Band played two sets on the front lawn of the Marine Museum. I broadcast the concert live using Periscope on my cell phone. You can see it here, as long as you forgive my beginning attempt at using Periscope. I was also taking pictures while I held the cell phone and trying to find out how it was going at the same time. But I think the sound came through pretty good.
Go here to watch the video of the live broadcast; it will only be available here for 24 hours. Also, Periscope can only do portrait at this time and the band is set up for landscape, but enough apologies.

Alpena brings more cement to Duluth

The Alpena brought cement to Duluth Superior this morning (August 13, 2015) arriving in the Duluth ship canal at 10:30. This is her 7th trip here this season; she brought cement here 12 times last season. She has one of the best, and loudest, whistles on the Great Lakes. Click the Alpena link just above to listen.

More wind turbines in Duluth

The HHL Elbe arrived Wednesday afternoon, August 6, 2015 with wind turbine parts to discharge at the Port Terminal. Built in 2008, this is her first visit to the Twin Ports. When she completes discharging the wind turbine pieces, she will go over to CHS in Superior to load grain as her departing cargo.

Hon. James L. Oberstar departs Duluth

The Great Lakes freighter Hon. James L. Oberstar arrived Tuesday afternoon August 4, 2015 to load iron ore pellets at the CN dock in West Duluth. She departed Duluth late morning the next day (above). This was her 6th visit to the Twin Ports this season; she was here 17 times last year. On most of her trips, she brought limestone in and then loaded iron ore pellets, usually here but sometimes departing for North Shore Mining in Silver Bay.

Thomas the Train comes to Duluth

Kayla’s picture

My friend Kayla Currens, from Rockford, Illinois, took this picture of the American Integrity this morning (August 1, 2015) as she came into town to load 66,000 tons of coal for Detroit Edison’s power plant in St. Clair. It is the boat’s 15th trip to the Twin Ports this season; she made 22 visits last season.

Boats in all directions

Looking out into Lake Superior in an early morning on a soon to be hot July 26th, 2015, visitors are out to catch a glimpse of the American Integrity coming in through the fog to load coal at Midwest Energy Resources. Turning around, we see the Algowood just moving away from the dock at North American Salt. She arrived at 10:54 Saturday evening and deposited the 3 large piles of salt you see in the center during the night. To the right of the salt, there is evidence of the new hotel, resort and boat watching paradise, Pier B Resort, as you can read, opening up in less than a year.

Four tugs in a row on a summer day in Duluth

In the old days, I took pictures of the front end of boats. But I am slowing down in my old age and are now happy to get the back ends. So here are the back ends of a flotilla of all the tugs from Heritage Marine, out to get their picture taken (from the front, mostly). In the background, at right, notice the very red, or orange, HHL Amur discharging wind turbines pieces at the Port Terminal. Above, left to right, the Nels J., Helen H. Nancy J. and the Edward H.
Above, left to right, the Helen H., Nels J., Nancy J. and Edward H.  Below, the Nancy J., Nels J. and the Helen H.

HHL Amur, under Bridge, into slip

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The HHL Amur arrived under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge on Friday afternoon, July 17, 2015 at 1:45 with wind turbine blades on her deck. She is now discharging them at the Port Terminal. (Two images above courtesy of Dave Campbell; click pics for larger versions)

Barker runs local deliveries

The James R. Barker departed Duluth today (July 15, 2015) with 58,000 tons of coal for Marquette, Michigan that she just completed loading at Midwest Energy Resources. She was just back from taking the same amount of coal to the Minnesota Power plant at Taconite Harbor. Thousand footers do not usually spend so much time making ‘local’ deliveries within Lake Superior. This was her 20th trip to the Twin Ports this season; she was here 43 times last year. Above, how she looked approaching the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge today; below, how she sounded.

Our Local Hero

2015-0710-2416On Friday afternoon, November 1, 2013, Zoran Pedisic was on his fork lift moving heavy things around the Lake Superior Warehousing loading area next to Berth number 1, where the giant cranes sit waiting to be called into service. He noticed a man walking close to the edge of the pier and then going into the icy water. Zoran went in right after him and brought him up, saving his life in the process. Rescue story, North Star Port MAG pg6
A year and a half later, (July 10, 2015) Captain Steve Teschendorf, the  Commander of Sector Sault Ste. Marie, came to town to present Zoran with the USCG Silver Life Saving Medal. It was a homecoming of sorts for Teschendorf; he was the last Commander of the Sundew, and after taking her out of commission, became the first captain of the Sundew’s replacement, the Alder.
2015-0710-2390But Zoran was the hero of the hour and friends and family of Zoran’s and family members of the man he saved, were out to honor their hero. Work even stopped for the many Warehouse employees who took a moment out of a busy day to celebrate a hero,  one of their own.
2015-0710-2446Before the ceremony, children just getting out of their car noticed Zoran’s different kind of car and lined up for a ride. Zoran is a wonderful man and clearly a hero to the children who gathered around him again, this time for a picture after the ceremony.  In his work, Zoran is always lifting and moving stuff, and he seemed to enjoy holding the smallest child in her basket for the picture.  Zoran was busy as always enjoying his time entertaining the children, accepting the award and talking with the local media.  Notice his medal around his neck.