Earl W. Oglebay delayed in Duluth

The Earl W. Oglebay was set to depart its winter berth at Fraser Shipyard today, leaving only the Reserve and the American Mariner still in port from the winter layup. It was going to go to Silver Bay to load taconite, but two thousand footers got on the Silver Bay schedule, pushing the 630 foot boat off the list, or at least down. The Coast Guard cutter Mackinaw, the 60 year old cutter, is still breaking thick ice on each side of the Soo Locks in Whitefish Bay and in the St. Mary’s River. Some folks at that end of the Lake are blaming our end of the lake for all their ice. Instead of east winds bringing the ice to us, west winds have sent ice eastward to the Soo, although we didn’t have much ice to send. The crew aboard the Mackinaw are not complaining. The ship will be decommissioned in June and turning the ice breaking duties over to a brand new Mackinaw. They were afraid they would not get any ice breaking in before the ship becomes a museum. While we will not see the old Mackinaw again, we can be proud that we sent them enough ice to give the Mighty Mac one last shot before it retires.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 4/1/2006
Kenneth Newhams :