Archives for March 2006

Atlantic Huron goes both places

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The Atlantic Huron has averaged about 3 trips a year to the Twin Ports for the last 10 years. One of those trips is often in March. Today, the boat should make it here to load taconite on the last day of March. When built in 1984, it was called the Prairie Harvest. It received its current name in 1989 but became the Melvin H. Baker from 1994 until 1998 when it again became the Atlantic Huron. The name reflects the boat’s ability to venture out into the Atlantic Ocean, a place most lake boats never visit. Above, the Atlantic Huron enters the Duluth ship canal last year on March 24th.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-31-2006

Walter J. McCarthy Jr.

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After spending the winter layup at the Hallett Dock in West Duluth, the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. left there on its first trip on March 25th. It is expected to return to the Twin Ports this afternoon. As it usually does, it will load coal at the Midwest Energy Coal dock in Superior for the St. Clair power plant of Detroit Edison. After making the 6-day round trip back to Superior, it will load coal for a quick trip to Silver Bay before coming back to resume the normal route to Detroit. Above, the McCarthy is about to enter the Duluth ship canal on January 10th of this year, carrying a little of Lake Superior frozen to her bow.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-30-2006

Algocape brought 1st cement of season

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The Canadian flagged Algocape arrived Monday evening with a load of cement. It should complete discharging that cargo later today and then depart. This is the first delivery of cement for St. Lawrence Cement this season. They usually discharge about one boat a month throughout the shipping season.The Polish operated Ziemia Cieszynska is in Cleveland now discharging an inbound cargo. It is scheduled to come to Duluth, arriving perhaps by April 3rd. That would be a very early date for the first salt water ship of the year. Photo taken on August 12, 2002.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-29-2006

Cort makes rare pass under bridge

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The Stewart J. Cort made 446 trips to the Twin Ports since 1996. In 432 of those trips, it entered the port using the Superior entry, in most cases to load taconite at the Burlington Northern Dock, just around the corner from the Superior entry. Yesterday afternoon, it appeared on the horizon headed for Duluth and went under the Lift Bridge around 2 pm. It was launched in 1972 at Erie, Pennsylvania. The bow and stern were built in Mississippi and welded together. This ‘vessel’ then sailed to Erie where the two pieces were split apart, a midbody was inserted between them and the parts were then welded together, creating the first 1,000-footer on the Great Lakes. The reason for the Duluth entry yesterday: a fuel stop at the Duluth Marine Terminal of Murphy Oil.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-28-2006

A Gold medal visits Duluth Shipping News

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It happens every 4 years. Gold medal winners in the Olympics stop by the Duluth Shipping News to get their picture taken in front of the bridge. Caroline Ouellette (left), former Bulldog star, came back from Torino with a gold medal with the Canadian Hockey team. They beat Sweden 4-1 for the gold. She brought Charline Labonté along. Charline was in goal for Canada. Caroline scored a goal in the 4-1 win.

Munson passes Columbia Star

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There were 7 passages under the Lift Bridge yesterday. Two of them are above – the John G. Munson departed in the late afternoon and passed by the Columbia Star who had arrived earlier in the day. The Columbia Star was waiting for the Paul R. Tregurtha to complete loading coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior. Both boats will be taking about 58,000 tons of coal to a Detroit Edison power plant at St. Clair, Michigan.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-27-2006

Algosteel at anchor in the Lake

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The first boat to arrive and depart may be a big deal, but a bigger deal for boatwatchers is the first boat to sit at anchor off the Duluth piers. The Algosteel was supposed to come in to load coal early Saturday morning, but first light saw it at anchor (above) where it stayed most of the day, finally coming in Saturday evening as dark was setting in. Engine problems may have caused the delay in coming in. Meanwhile, there was a concern about the Soo Locks opening one minute after midnight, Saturday morning. Prior to midnight, the Soo webcam showed four boats waiting to come in and hours after midnight they hadn’t moved. The Soo locks opened on time and the boats moved through. It was the webcam that wasn’t working.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-26-2006

McCarthy to end winter layup

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The Arthur M. Anderson has been waiting at the Soo Locks for several days, so it was probably the first boat to go through into Lake Superior early this morning. The Anderson is going to Two Harbors, leaving the Paul R. Tregurtha and the Columbia Star to fight it out for first boat through the Soo and into the Twin Ports. They should both follow the Anderson. It appears now that the Tregurtha will arrive here first, very early Sunday morning. Above, the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. , at winter layup. It should have departed from there early this morning, going to Two Harbors to load taconite.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-25-2006

Algosteel not here often

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The Canadian flagged Algosteel is not a frequent visitor to the Twin Ports. It was last here on December 30th, last year, only its second trip of the year to the Twin Ports last year. It returns today to load coal for Ontario Power, the usual cargo and destination when it is here. With the Soo Locks opening one minute after midnight Saturday morning, it appears the Columbia Star may be the first arrival here from beyond the Soo, early Sunday morning. It will be quickly followed by the Paul R. Tregurtha. Both will be loading coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-24-2006

Beeghly at Fraser

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Eleven boats spent the winter in Duluth Superior. Six of them, including the Charles M. Beeghly, seen above in February at the Fraser Shipyard in Duluth, will be departing Duluth today, beginning their, and our, shipping season. The first Canadian boat of the season, the CSL Laurentien should also be here today. It will be the first boat to load taconite at the Burlington Northern dock in Superior. All of this activity starts today because the Soo Locks will open one minute after midnight on Saturday morning. For the same reason, we will be welcoming the first boats from beyond the Soo early Sunday morning. It looks to be a race between the Paul R. Tregurtha and the Columbia Star, two thousand footers that make many trips to the Twin Ports each year.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-23-2006

Blue Heron goes out early, in the year, and in the day

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The early bird gets the worm, or today, the Blue Heron will be out on the lake getting rare water samples. Owned and operated by the Large Lakes Observatory at UMD, scientists aboard the Blue Heron collect water, sediment and nutrient samples all year long but rarely have an opportunity to do it in March. The Blue Heron is a small boat and there is usually too much ice in March. But not this year. Joined by scientists from the University of Minnesota, they should be departing under the Lift Bridge this morning around 7 am and returning around 6 pm tonight.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-22-2006

Mackinaw 1944

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The Soo Locks open at 12:01 this Saturday morning. That’s to the public. As has been her tradition for many years, and in this her last year, the Mackinaw (the 1944 variety) went through the Poe Lock last Friday, along with the Canadian ice breaker Samuel Risley. They cleared out ice within the lock and then headed into Whitefish Bay to break open a track for the boats, most of which are in Duluth now, on their way to the Soo within the next couple days. One more casualty of a warm winter will be the lack of a visit from the mighty Mac. It would have been here if we had any ice, but there is not much to push around this spring. The picture above will now be one from her last trip here, last October.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-21-2006

Barker leaving, Gott waiting

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The Soo Locks open on March 25. That means other boats will soon be joining the so far one boat season we have had for a week watching the James R. Barker go in and out of the port. On Wednesday, two boats will leave Duluth: the Edgar B. Speer departing with taconite for Gary, Indiana and the Edwin H. Gott departing for Two Harbors to load taconite. The Barker probably arrived earlier this morning and will likely depart Duluth sometime later in the day, again for We Energies at Presque Isle, Michigan. Above, as seen from the Alder last Friday, the James R. Barker goes by the Edwin H. Gott on its way out of Duluth. The Gott is still at its winter berth.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-20-2006

Roger Blough waiting in ice

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There is no ship traffic today, but the James R. Barker will be back again tomorrow to load coal for Presque Isle, Michigan. Finally, on Wednesday, two new boats will join the Barker for the new shipping season with four more on Thursday. One of those will be the Roger Blough, seen above on Friday at its winter berth at the Port Terminal. It is waiting for its refurbished lifeboats to return from the shop and be lifted up to the deck, the last major task for the winter.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-19-2006

Barker departing in ice, with coal

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The James R. Barker left Friday morning for Presque Isle, Michigan with coal (above). It is the second trip of the year to Presque Isle for the Barker. It will be back here again on Monday for one more load of coal for Presque Isle. On Wednesday, two more boats join the Barker, the only boat to move in Duluth Superior this season. Thursday will be the big day in Duluth. Four boats should depart to start their season. And the Superior entry should see its first traffic on Thursday when the Michipicoten arrives to load taconite. It will be the first Canadian flagged boat of the season.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-18-2006

American Mariner prop inspection

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When the James R. Barker leaves sometime today with its second load of coal for Presque Isle, Michigan, there will still be 10 boats at their winter layup berths in Duluth Superior. One of them is the American Mariner, above. It was in dry dock at the Fraser Shipyard in Superior, allowing workers to check on the boat’s prop and rudder.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-17-2006

James R. Barker first to depart/arrive

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The James R. Barker was the first departure of the year on Tuesday evening. Today, it will become the first arrival, coming back this evening from Taconite Harbor to load coal for Presque Isle, Michigan. Minnesota Power uses the coal in Taconite Harbor to provide electric power to their entire system. We Energies maintains a power plant at Presque Isle, one of 5 in their system that provides electric power to Wisconsin and Michigan. The busy Barker not only was our first departure and first arrival for the new season, it also warmed up 3 states.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-16-2006

Philip R. Clarke gets repairs

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The James R. Barker has the center stage for boat traffic here for the next week. It left last night for Taconite Harbor and is due back Friday. The Philip R. Clarke spent the winter in Duluth and is getting ready for the new season. Last week, Jack Gartner, above left, who heads up Gartner Refrigeration in Duluth, was on the Philip R. Clarke working on a problem with the refrigeration unit. He was assisted by Brad Emerson, above right, also from Gartner Refrigeration.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-15-2006

Alder breaks free

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The Soo Locks do not open until March 25. Until then, the only boat traffic will be moving between ports on Lake Superior. Traditionally, a thousand footer spends the winter at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior and loads coal there for several trips to Lake Superior ports before any other boat traffic moves. This year, as last year, that boat is the James R. Barker. It should depart today with coal for Taconite Harbor and return for more on Friday and again on Monday. Above, the Alder had no trouble getting away from the dock yesterday on its first ice breaking venture of the new season.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-14-2006