Archives for January 2005

Boats gone, Aerial Lift Bridge stays

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The last of 1,089 cargo carrying boats in the 2004-5 shipping season, the James R. Barker, left the port on Monday morning with a load of coal for Presque Isle, Michigan. It returned Friday night for winter layup. Yesterday, the John G. Munson came in for winter layup. No more traffic is expected this season. Late yesterday afternoon, the Canadian ice breaker Samuel Risley departed Duluth after helping the last two boats get to their dock. Of the 1,089 vessels, 250 were Canadian flagged, 111 were foreign flagged and 728 flew a US flag. We still have the Aerial Lift Bridge, 100 years old this year.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-23-2005

Risley arrives just in time

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The Canadian ice breaker Samuel Risley arrived Duluth late Friday afternoon (above). It will help the James R. Barker make the dock at its winter layup at Midwest Energy Resources and then assist the John G. Munson get to its winter layup at Fraser Shipyards. The Barker should have arrived last night and the Munson is expected this morning.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-22-2005

Samuel Risley here to work

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The Canadian ice breaker Samuel Risley will be here today or tomorrow to assist the last two boats coming to the Twin Ports this season, the James R. Barker from Presque Isle, Michigan and the John G. Munson from Algoma Steel near the Soo Locks. The Risley was last here in April, 2003 to help the Sundew break open the Duluth entry from a severe ice jam. Ice closed the Duluth entry on April 1. It did not open up for ship traffic until April 21st when the wind cleared away the ice. The picture above was taken on April 5, 2003, just outside the Superior entry. With help from both the Sundew and the Risley, the Superior entry stayed open.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-21-2005

Munson entering Duluth ship canal

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Only two more arrivals and the shipping season is completed. The James R. Barker may come in sometime Friday from Presque Isle, Michigan and the John G. Munson will be coming from Algoma Steel, just this side of the Soo Locks. It has been taking taconite from Marquette to Algoma and is now on the last trip. Due here on Saturday, January 22, the picture above shows the Munson coming in exactly one year ago today. She is two days behind last year’s schedule.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-20-2005

Speer arrives ice covered

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Assuming the James R. Barker got out of here last night with the last cargo loaded in the Twin Ports this season, we have no traffic expected today. Nine of the 11 boats that will spend the winter in the Twin Ports have arrived at their winter home. We are waiting for the Barker to return after delivering coal to Marquette and the John G. Munson to come home from Algoma Steel, near the Soo Locks. They may be arriving Thursday. Above, the Edgar B. Speer was greeted by more than a couple well wishers and photographers on Monday, despite the -20 temperature. Crew members on the boat yelled at us, saying we were stupid to be out there. Can you imagine that!
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-19-2005

Barker will load last coal of season

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The James R. Barker came under the Lift Bridge (above) on Monday morning at 7:39. With help from local tugs and the Coast Guard cutter Alder, it went to the Midwest Energy Resources coal dock in Superior to load coal for Marquette, Michigan. Weather will delay loading until sometime this morning. A departure this evening is planned if all goes well. The Barker will return to the same dock later this week for winter lay-up.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-18-2005

Alder ready to work

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Today is the last big day of the season for Twin Ports shipping. The James R. Barker, the American Mariner, the Edgar B. Speer and the Presque Isle have been crossing Lake Superior in a convoy. The Presque Isle will peel off and load briefly at Two Harbors during the night, while the Barker, Speer and Mariner should all arrive Duluth this morning between 6 and 8 am. The Coast Guard Cutter Alder and local tugs will be prepared to depart their moorings around that time to provide assistance as needed. Photo taken January 5, 2005.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-17-2005

Presque Isle in her winter glory

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Most boats spend the winter without cargo in their holds. The Presque Isle is a tug-barge combination that needs some cargo in the barge to maintain the connection between both parts as the ice freezes around the boat. The boat is in Two Harbors getting that cargo and should be here today to take its winter layup spot at the Garfield C slip in Duluth. Above, the Presque Isle surrounded by ice at its winter berth on February 27, 2003.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-16-2005

Anderson in the 2003 ice

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Above, the Arthur M. Anderson was caught in a harbor full of ice on April 5th, 2003 as it was trying to depart the Duluth entry. With ice-breaking help from the Sundew, it was able to depart the Superior entry about 8 hours later. The Anderson comes in today for winter layup with better possibilities for movement, despite the very cold weather.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-15-2005

BN season ends with Stewart J. Cort

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Yesterday, the Stewart J. Cort was at anchor off the Superior piers, waiting for the Edwin H. Gott to complete loading at Burlington Northern in Superior. The Gott should have departed last night, allowing the Cort to come in and load taconite. The Cort will be the last boat to load at Burlington Northern this year.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-14-2005

Gott will take taconite to Detroit

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The Edwin H. Gott is loading taconite for Detroit, Michigan at the Burlington Northern Dock in Superior. In past years, the Gott spent the winter in Duluth and would not be leaving the Twin Ports so late in the year. But this year, it is laying up at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. Above, in winter layup at St. Lawrence Cement in March, 2003.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-13-2005

Roger Blough season ending

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The American Spirit, Reserve and St. Clair are here for winter layup. The John J. Boland and Roger Blough are expected today. Six more boats are due. The last one, the Mesabi Miner, is tentatively set to arrive on January 16th.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-12-2005

St. Clair named for St. Clair

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After 24 trips to the Twin Ports this season, loading taconite and coal, the
St. Clair will be here today to spend the winter layup at the Port Terminal.
It was built in 1976 to deliver coal from Superior to Detroit Edison’s Belle River Power Plant near its namesake, St. Clair, Michigan.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-11-2005

Reserve will lay-up in Duluth/Superior

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The Reserve came into port on December 15th with a load of limestone. After discharging that cargo, it loaded taconite and departed the next afternoon (above) for Indiana Harbor, Indiana. Today it is back to stay, at least for a couple months. The Reserve and the American Spirit are the first of an estimated 11 boats that will spend the winter in the Duluth Superior harbor.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-10-2005

Burns Harbor uses Superior entry

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The Burns Harbor will be here for the 43rd and last time today. That is more than most boats that visit the Twin Ports each year, but we never saw it once come under the Lift Bridge. It arrived and departed each time using the Superior entry. That is because it was loading taconite at the Burlington Northern dock in Superior, a dock that is right around the corner from the Superior entrance. Photo taken January 1, 2002.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-09-2005

Paul J. Martin transfers cargo

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The Atlantic Huron (above left) will depart today with a load of taconite transferred to its cargo holds by a sister ship, the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin (above right). The Atlantic Huron is in a hurry to deliver this cargo to Nanticoke, Ontario so it can get back to its winter layup port at Thunder Bay before the Soo Locks close for the winter. The Martin’s winter home is beyond the Soo Locks so it has more time to get out of Lake Superior.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-08-2005

Atlantic Huron in Duluth for taconite

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The Atlantic Huron should arrive today to load taconite at the DM&IR Dock in West Duluth. It was built as the Prairie Harvest in 1984, but took its present name in 1989. It became the Melvin H. Baker in 1994 but went back to the Atlantic Huron in 1998. That name reflects the boat’s ability to venture out into the Atlantic Ocean, a place most lake boats never visit.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-07-2005

American Mariner greets spectators

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The American Mariner is owned and operated by the American Steamship Company of Buffalo, New York. That is also the source of the first part of her name. The second part of the name refers to the mariners who work on the boat. It has been the American Mariner since it was launched in 1980. It was supposed to be called the Chicago but at the last moment, I am told because of a Chicago political squabble, the name was changed to the current name. Photo taken July 18, 2000.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-06-2005

CSL Laurentien

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The CSL Laurentien is most of the former Louis R. Desmarais, built in 1977. During the 2000-2001 winter, the forward hull of the Desmarais was cut off and a new hull was joined to the Desmarais stern, including the engine room. Automated self-unloading equipment was added and her name was changed to the CSL Laurentien. (CSL is Canada Steamship Lines, the boat’s owner)
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-05-2005

Oglebay Norton loads coal

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The Oglebay Norton will be here today to load coal. Last July, it was here loading coal (above) as a saltie was passing in the St. Louis River. The coal loader from Midwest Energy is on the left. The boat has moved its self unloader, usually sitting on the deck, off to the side (upper right) to make room for the coal loader.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-04-2005

Jackson takes coal to Marquette

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The Herbert C. Jackson will be here today for the 19th time this season. It will load 16,500 tons of coal for delivery to the city of Marquette, Michigan, on the southern shore of Lake Superior. Above, it was arriving Duluth on January 5 last year to do the same thing.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-03-2005

Frontenac departs with the Blues

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The Frontenac departed Duluth during the Blues Festival last August (above). Most of the people in the picture didn’t know the boat was just behind them. They were listening to Mavis Staples. Today, the Frontenac will be under the Lift Bridge again, here to load taconite. Very few of us will be watching, but for different, and colder, reasons.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-02-2005

Alpena makes final visit of season

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The Alpena is a regular visitor to the Twin Ports. Since 1996, it has brought cement here 140 times. It will be here today for the 14th and last time this season. Built as the Leon Fraser in 1942, it is one of the oldest and prettiest boats working the Great Lakes.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-01-2005