HHL Volga brings more wind turbine blades to Duluth

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After half a day at the outside anchorage, the HHL Volga came in Sunday afternoon, June 28, 2015, with a cargo of wind turbine blades she will begin discharging on Monday morning. She is the former Beluga Family when she was operated by Beluga Shipping in Bremen, Germany. After Beluga went bankrupt, the ship was purchased by Hansa Heavy Lift, also in Bremen. Although many Beluga ships have been to Duluth before, this will be the first visit for this ship. This is, I think, the 3rd shipment of wind turbine pieces to come to Duluth this season. There are more coming.

Friday night, let’s have a party

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The salt water vessel Eider (the green one) came into port on June 16th to discharge a lot of pipe at the Port Terminal. Eleven days later (June 26, 2015), they are still here. Maybe they decided to test out Duluth night life and invite a few new friends over. The Great Republic (in the middle) and the James R. Barker (in back) arrived on time, but it appears the Barker had to leave early; must be another party in Superior.

Paul R brings Detroit Free Press to Duluth

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The Paul R. Tregurtha came under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge this morning at 9:00. Jim Schaefer, reporter for the paper, was streaming the arrival live via Periscope from his cell phone. My guess is, this is the first live video from a boat coming under the Bridge. Periscope is a program recently published by Google that allows live streaming via cell phone, which is to say we now all have  television stations in our pocket. And I thought the World Wide Web was impressive. This may be the best way to follow the trip, or, if they are leaving the boat here, to see their past videos of the trip. https://twitter.com/DetroitReporter
and follow Jim on Twitter: @DetroitReporter where you will be notified when he goes live; at least a couple times yet today. Only 3  problems; like a lot of new cell phone camera persons, it is a little bumpy and Periscope has not yet learn how to do landscape. And worst of all, Jim calls those of us watching from the dock, Freighter Watchers. I have informed him, via Twitter, that we are Boatwatchers.

Duluth/Superior, an International port

Two ships: Whistler and Eider, 5 countries: US, Greece, Venezuela, Hong Kong (China), Algeria and 3 states: Wisconsin, Texas and Minnesota, at least
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In the top picture, the Whistler is leaving Duluth on Thursday evening, June 18, 2015, after loading durum wheat at the CHS terminal in Superior. She arrived on June 13 and dropped her anchor while she waited for the Drawsko to finish loading spring wheat. On Monday evening (June 15, 2015), the Whistler came in as the Drawsko was departing for Venezuela and took her place at CHS. The Whistler began her trip to the Twin Ports after discharging cargo in Houston in early April. She loaded durum wheat here that she is now taking to Algeria. Because of the ice, ocean going ships cannot come to Duluth or enter the St. Lawrence Seaway from mid-December to mid-March. During our winter, many of those ships load the same grain they load here in ports in the Southern United States, brought down the Mississippi River by barge from Midwestern farms. The Whistler is such a ship.
whistlerduckaudabon The Whistler is owned by Parakou Shipping in Hong Kong. She is now under charter to Canadian Forest Navigation (Canfornav for short). They send many ships to Duluth Superior to load grain. They name the ships they use after ducks. In her case, it is the Black-bellied Whistling-Duck that also can be found in Texas. As she was departing, she passed another Parakou ship, the Eider, while she was at the Port Terminal discharging 8,000 pieces of pipe she loaded in Greece. (Whistler picture from www.audubon.org)
2015-0618-1885I was about a mile away when I took this picture and it was only after preparing this web page post that I noticed 2 boats in the background, docked in Superior. Click on the image to enlarge it (you can do the same with the other three pictures). At the left, the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. is at the Lakehead dock. To the right, you can see the stern and the bow of the American Victory; she is the former Middletown. Now owned by American Steamship, she was in long term layup at Fraser Shipyard but was moved while Fraser is doing some new construction work. She has the stack colors of American Steamship but retains her Columbia colors for everything else.
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Wow, Burns Harbor visits Duluth

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On June 13, 2015, the Burns Harbor made a surprise (at least to me) visit to the Duluth ship canal, coming in around 5:30 in the afternoon. Most of the time, she comes in using the Superior entry since she loads iron ore pellets at the BNSF dock just inside the entry. I think she needed fuel and is at the Calumet fuel dock in Duluth. And the brand new CSL St-Laurent is at the BN dock now (6:00 pm).
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Block departs Duluth

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The Joseph L. Block departed Duluth on Monday afternoon, June 8, 2015 after discharging a limestone cargo at Graymont. She is going to Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets. This was her 4th trip to Duluth Superior this season; she was here 15 times last year.

Science Friday at the Duluth ship canal

2015-0605-1734The Blue Heron returned home this afternoon (June 5, 2015) after a six day research trip to recover and redeploy a set of scientific moorings deployed throughout Lake Superior.  Moorings collect data that are used to study lake water warming and  changing ice conditions on the lake and to study internal waves in Lake Superior.
The Blue Heron is owned by the Large Lakes Observatory at the University of Minnesota at Duluth and is often on the lake working with water quality issues, fish populations and the geo physical structure of Lake Superior.
She is the largest university-owned research vessel in the Great Lakes. Built in 1985 for fishing on the Grand Banks, the Blue Heron was purchased by the University of Minnesota in 1997. She sailed from Portland, Maine, up the St. Lawrence Seaway to Duluth, and was converted into a limnological research vessel during the winter of 1997-98. She is outfitted with state-of-the-art research equipment.
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The Blue Heron has berthing for 9 crew and scientists, and can operate 24 hours per day for up to 14 days in between port calls. She is part of the University National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS), and is available for charter by research scientists on any of the Great Lakes. She served in the Grand Banks fishing fleet until the federal government bought the vessel through an incentive program to protect the depleted fishery.
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Clipper Makiri arrives Duluth with blades

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The Clipper Makiri arrived Sunday night at 11:41 with wind turbine blades she loaded in China and some machinery she picked up in Thailand. This is her first trip to the Twin Ports. She was built in 1999 as the Makiri Green. She then sailed as the Sloman Server until 2012 when she became the Mikiri Green again. Her name was recently changed to Clipper Makiri. She was a member of the Dutch shipping company Green Fleet and still sailing with her green colors. Many Green Fleet ships have visited Duluth in the past, although this is the first trip here for the Clipper Makiri.

New dock groundbreaking set for May 27, 2015

On Wednesday, May 27, 2015, the Duluth Seaway Port Authority will host a groundbreaking ceremony for the Port of Duluth Intermodal Project which will feature a complete rebuild of docks C & D. The area has been cleaned up over the last 20 years and today, it is ready to go (just below). (all photos courtesy Duluth Seaway Port Authority)
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Below, a Port Authority graphic outlines the improvements to be made. At the upper left, you see the gantry cranes in operation as they have since they were built in 1959, the year the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway opened the port of Duluth to the rest of the world.
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And speaking of 1959, the picture below shows the same area as it looked in 1959. Notice more ships in port than we usually see but much smaller ships.
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One of the first jobs in clearing away the old for the new was the demolition of the exiting structures, no longer in use. That was in 1997.
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Below, as she looked a few years ago. Notice the area that will be developed  was used as a holding area for cargo shipped to Duluth by boat but not yet  delivered, by truck, to the customer. Most of the cargo in the lay down area were wind turbine parts.
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Twenty years old: Duluth Shipping News

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I started my 20th year publishing the daily summer edition of the Duluth Shipping News today (Friday, May 22, 2015). Click to see a PDF. For more information about Duluth Shipping News, go here.

Dool today, Fraserborg yesterday

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The Tim S. Dool came in this afternoon (May 20, 2015) with cement to discharge at the Holcim dock in Duluth. Yesterday, the Dutch flagged Fraserborg arrived (below) to load grain. The Fraserborg is making her third trip here; she was here twice in 2011. The Dool was here many times as the Algoville; she was renamed to the Tim S. Dool in 2008 after Dool retired from his position as President and CEO of Algoma Central Corp. Since then she has made 11 trips to the Twin Ports.
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Kom took Twin Ports wheat to Tunisia

I have published the Duluth Shipping News for 20 years and until today, have never had pictures taken of cargo loaded in Duluth being discharged in a land far far away . Today, that all changes, courtesy of Captain Mariyan Yotov, who brought the Bulgarian built, owned, operated and crewed salt water vessel Kom to town on April 13, 2015.  They loaded  wheat at CHS 1 in Superior. About a month later, they were in Sfax, Tunisia discharging the wheat. Captain Yotov sent us the pictures below showing their work.
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Two on-shore cranes are scooping the wheat from the cargo holds of the Kom and depositing each load into a giant funnel which in turn pours the wheat into trucks moved in just below the funnels.  We can see two trucks being loaded simultaneously.
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Click on the map from Google Earth below to see a larger version. Tunisia is located on the northern tip of Africa; I think they also discharged some cargo in Italy. They started their trip to Duluth from Spain, at left on the map.
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Friending the Captain of the Kom

Received this email this morning (May 12, 2015): “Kenneth, Мариян Йотов has confirmed that you’re friends on Facebook.” That’s Captain Mariyan Yotov, the Captain of the Kom, the first salt water vessel to arrive in Duluth Superior this season. He linked to a long post about the visit on  www.maritime.bg, below left, a screen print of the page, and beside it, Google’s translation of the page. Many Twin Ports news sources are mentioned. (Captain Yotov’s Facebook page)
 

the translation:
On April 15, 2015, the motor ship "Kom" of Navigation Maritime Bulgare arrived at the US port of The Twin Ports Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin. This is the largest freshwater port in the world. Located in the western part of the komcaptainfacebookpagemay122015North American Great Lakes (North America’s Great Lakes) and accept ships arriving from the Atlantic Ocean and pass through the sea route "St. Lawrence "and Great Lakes (The Great Lakes and the Saint Lawrence Seaway). It is united port in two US cities that belong to the Territorial two different states: Minnesota Duluth has to and Superiar – to Wisconsin. In The Twin Ports cargo is 19th among all US ports.
This news would hardly deserved so much attention if it was not this detail, the crew of "Kom" Captain Marian Yotov was greeted by local and regional port authorities with the traditional ceremony "Welcome the first" salty "(coming from the ocean) ship! "at the end of the heavy winter in this region. Welcomes the first captain of the Bulgarian ship Dave McMillan (Dave McMillan) – Chairman of the Board of The St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation. On the bridge of "Kom" Captain Yotov welcomes its guests with painted Easter eggs and invite them to participate in traditional Bulgarian "fight" with them.
(Photo below, right; the Captain battles Adele Yorde of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority) The event is also reflected by the three television channels in the region and is broadcast live by two other media: The Duluth Shipping News and The Duluth News Tribune. A reporter of NNCNOW.com captain Yotov said: "I love Duluth and its inhabitants. They welcome us very friendly and open arms. I am really glad to be here. " Local media also indicate that over half of the transition through the sea route "St. Lawrence "and Great Lakes ‘Kom’ was sailing in heavy ice situation and had to seek the assistance of an icebreaker. The arrival of the ship in the US Maritime port The Twin2015-0415-952 Ports without any damage to it is another proof of the professionalism of the Bulgarian crew.
The publication states that "Qom" has arrived in The Twin Ports Duluth after 25 days in Spain transition from not particularly favorable weather in the North Atlantic. It accepts the US port 12,100 tons high quality wheat in his barns to deliver client Italian port. The Duluth Shipping News notes that this is the fifth visit of the "Kom" here and that his first visit took place on May 26, 1998 – a year after it was built in Varna Shipyard. The newspaper published an aerial photograph of the city – the city where he built ".COM" and a picture of the Balkan us Kom Peak, whose name it bears ship.
When maneuvering the Bulgarian ship The Twin Ports Duluth is assisted by tugs of The Great Lakes Towing Company – a company with over 115 years of history, which is in Navigation Maritime business partnership in 1987. The information and photos are sent to the BMF by Stefanos Skortelis – from ship agency company Navitrans Shipping Agencies Inc., Canada, as the Communication states that the photographs of the ceremony and the visit of the "Kom" made by Paul Scinocca & Diane Hilden (DKH).

Wind turbine blades again

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After several days at anchor, the salt water ship Johanna C came into port on Sunday afternoon, May 3, 2015. After going under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge, the Heritage Marine tug Helen H. moved up to help her make her dock at the Port Terminal. On Monday, workers at Lake Superior Warehousing Company, at the Port Terminal, will begin discharging the wind turbine blades.
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Wind turbine blades at anchor off Duluth piers

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On April 18th, the Johanna C (above) was off just off the coast of Newfoundland and due in Montreal on the 19th on her way to Duluth. She arrived Montreal on the 21st. By the 26th, she was in the Welland Canal, at Detroit on the 27th and at the Soo Locks on the 28th. She arrived off the Duluth piers last night (April 29th) as the sun was setting and dropped her anchor.She has wind turbine blades on her deck, the first to come to Duluth in several years. She is in the anchorage waiting for the Lady Doris (below) to complete her discharge of clay at the port terminal.
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Bringing clay for local paper mills from Brazil

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The Lady Doris came into port on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at 10:30 am with a cargo of Kaolin clay she loaded in Brazil.
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A local Great Lakes Towing tug met her after she came under the Lift Bridge and assisted while the ship moved up to the Port Terminal. To discharge the cargo, the ship needed to be tied up to the dock with bow pointing forward (toward downtown Duluth), so the tug helped her slowly turn around before moving to the dock to tie up .
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You can see the red crane that will be used to discharge the clay, which will take about 5 days working 24 hours a day. After discharge, the clay will be mixed with water, creating a slurry that will then go to local paper companies. She brought a similar cargo on her first trip to the Twin Ports on August 7th last year.
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Meanwhile, the Johanna C. is on her way to Duluth and should arrive on Wednesday with her main deck stacked high with wind turbine blades to be discharged at the Port Terminal after the Lady Doris is finished, in about 5 days. In the meantime, the Johanna C. will be at the outside anchorage while she waits, a scene that I am sure will attract local photographers.

The green Redhead comes in to load durum wheat

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The Redhead duck has a reddish head and spends the winter in Texas; the rest of the year in the Western United States and Canada. The Redhead ship is green and came into port on Monday afternoon, April 27th, 2015. She is a salt water ship sailing under a charter to Canadian Forest Navigation (Canfornav for short). The ships they work with are named after ducks. She is spending the night in the inner harbor, waiting to load durum wheat for Italy at CHS 1 after the Federal Mayumi finishes there.
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Just across the St. Louis River from Duluth

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The Federal Mayumi came into port Saturday evening, April 24th, 2015 and is now at CHS (above) in Superior loading wheat for Italy. This is her first trip to the Twin Ports. The American Integrity was loading coal at Midwest Energy Resources, just up the river from CHS. She departed late this morning with 66,000 tons of coal for the Detroit Edison power plant in St. Clair, Michigan.

First trip for Block to Twin Ports in 2015

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The Joseph L. Block came under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge on Saturday afternoon, April 25, 2015. She is here to discharge a cargo of limestone before leaving for Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets.
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Visiting the Kom

2015-0415-1039hollyThe Kom arrived on April 13, 2015, the first salt water ship of the season. It was her 5th trip to the Twin Ports; she first visited us on May 26, 1998, just a year after she was built in Varna, Bulgaria. She is owned by Navigation Maritime Bulgare in Varna. Captain Mariyan Yotov lives in Varna and all of the crew live in Bulgaria, some in Varna also.
(Click on any image to see a larger version)
My associate, Holly Jorgenson, joined me. She 2015-0415-959took this picture as we started our visit going carefully up the gangway. After that, it was only 5 more levels until we reached the pilot house. While we were up in the pilot house, the stevedores at CHS 1 were on the deck loading wheat into the cargo holds.There are two important people on any ship; the captain and the cook. Here Holly chats with the cook; it almost looks like she is praying for food.
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Holly found Captain Yotov’s Facebook page so you too can share some of his travels around the world. Everybody, and everything has a face book page. I was looking around the web for Kom Peak and found their Facebook page. They just sent me an email titled, Kom Peak confirmed your Facebook friend request. Now I am friends with a mountain!Several years ago, I created a web page for the Kom, and I included a Google Earth map to make sure we all knew where Bulgaria was. Captain Yotov likes maps too so he took us down a floor to give us a short tour around his world. First, he showed us home: Varna, his port city on the Black Sea.
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Then to Spain, and the port of LaCoruña, at the northwest tip of Spain, where they began their trip to Duluth.
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2015-0415-999When they depart the Twin Ports, they will be taking their cargo of wheat to a port in Italy where it will be used to make pasta. Then all officers and crew will be taking the short flight home to Varna; to be replaced by another all Bulgarian crew. I emphasize this since we don’t see this much anymore; Greek owned, operated and crewed ships (with a great Greek cook I might add) were here often and Polish ships the same. For a while the Dutch ships with all Dutch crews were here from the Netherlands. In fact, the captains on some of the Dutch ships have also been part owners of the ship they were on. That was nice; it was almost like visiting the country. Today, costs are cut and many companies have left the shipping business; crews are now often found from other countries with lower pay scales. So we welcome the Kom, a small part of Bulgaria, to Duluth Superior, still holding their country’s maritime heritage and helping us with ours.
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The Captain is often asked, as he was here, where the name Kom came from. It is named for Kom Peak in the Balkan Mountains in western Bulgaria, not far from the Serbian border. Above we see the view from the top of Kom Peak. The peak is 6,614 feet high and is a popular site for hikers. The country has many interesting neighbors; Romania to the north; Serbia and Macedonia to the west; Greece to the south and Turkey to the southeast. And of course, a long coastal connection to the beautiful Black Sea. Above, the view from the top of Kom’s Peak. Below, the city of Varna.
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2015-0415-1010On the way to sunny, almost warm Duluth, the Kom was caught up in the big ice jam at Whitefish Point in the eastern part of Lake Superior, just this side of the Soo Locks. Captain Yotov took us out to show us the bow of his ship which made countless surges into the ice; the white lines are the marks the ice left on her bow to show us they were there.
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Below, the Kom comes in for more grain on November 27, 2014.
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Kom comes to Duluth

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The Kom came under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge early this afternoon (April 13, 2015). She is the first salt water ship to arrive for the season, beginning her voyage in LaCoruña, Spain. She will load 12,100 tons of durum wheat for Italy where it will be milled into flour for pasta. This is her 4th visit to the Twin Ports; she was here 3 other times in November of 2008, 2010 and 2014. On each trip, as today, she will load grain at the CHS 1 grain terminal in Superior.
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She had help from 2 Great Lakes Towing tugs, the Minnesota on her stern and the Arkansas on the bow.
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Callaway under the Bridge

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The Cason J. Callaway departed Duluth on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, April 11, 2015, at 2:45 with iron ore pellets loaded at the CN dock in West Duluth.

Gott and Cort arrive under Lift Bridge

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The Edwin H. Gott arrived Duluth (above) on Friday morning, April 10, 2015 to load iron ore pellets at the CN dock in West Duluth. She was originally scheduled to spend winter layup in Duluth but spent layup in Milwaukee instead. Although owned and operated by Great Lakes Fleet, headquartered in Duluth, she was only here 3 times last year. She spends most of her season loading iron ore pellets in Two Harbors and taking them to Gary. Earlier this  week, the Stewart J. Cort came under the Lift Bridge (left) to get fuel at 2015-0403-716the  Calumet fuel dock at the Port Terminal before going to the BNSF Dock in Superior to load iron ore pellets. That has been her destination for many many years, and since the BNSF is just inside the Superior entry, we seldom see her coming under the Lift Bridge.

One finally out, four expected Friday

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The Whitefish Bay ice pack, assaulted by many Canadian and US Coast Guard vessels, and undoubtedly helped by warmer temperatures, broke up, and freed the vessels stopped in the ice for many days. Unfortunately, the downbound vessels have a long waiting line to get through the Soo Locks. Meanwhile the American Integrity finally departed Duluth this afternoon (April 9, 2015), the first departure from the Twin Ports in 4 days.

Whitefish Bay ice stops shipping on Lake Superior

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Check out this slideshow from Reuters