Archives for September 2006

Algocape sets up for departure

The Algocape used to be a steady visitor to the Twin Ports but it was only here twice last year. This is only the third visit this season. Built in 1967 in Quebec, the Algocape is a boat with cabins aft and pilothouse forward. The owner, Algoma Central Railway Company of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, bought it as the Richelieu in 1994 and renamed it to the current name. In past years, it has loaded grain in Thunder Bay or Duluth and taken it to a St. Lawrence River port such as Port Cartier, Quebec where it is off loaded to an ocean going ship. It often loads iron ore there to carry back to Hamilton, Ontario, before coming back to Lake Superior to load grain again. Above, the Algocape departs Duluth on August 12, 2002.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-30-2006

BBC India taking on cargo

Siemens, in Denmark, filled the BBC India with the parts to 22 wind turbines, a total of 174 pieces weighing 8,039,321 pounds and sent the ship off to Duluth. A lot of hardware, owned by Siemens, was needed to pack those pieces in the ship tightly and safely. The BBC India will be returning those pieces to Siemens. Some of that stuff was placed in containers. In the picture above, a container is being placed on the deck of the ship on Thursday. The container is at the end of a cable connected to one of the Port Terminal’s 2 gantry cranes. The other crane is at the top left. The picture was taken from the bow of the ship. You can see some of the rope used to tie the ship up to the dock. The top of the ship’s pilot house is at top center. Before arriving in Denmark, the ship will drop off electrical housing components in Iceland (they will be loaded onto the deck today), and grain in Ghent, Belgium. The grain was loaded earlier this week at CHS in Superior, after the wind turbine parts were discharged.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-29-2006

Manistee going strong

In 1943, a boat called the Richard J. Reiss was built. It has been a very long time since that boat was in Duluth, but last year, it came in with a load of salt under its new name, Manistee (above). It made a second trip in August and will be back again today. While old, the original steam engine was replaced by a diesel engine in 1976 and it is now a self unloader. It started as a US flagged vessel, but after a variety of US owners through the years, it was sold to Lower Lakes / Grand River Navigation in January, 2004 and is now under Canadian ownership with a new name.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-28-2006

Columbus brings visitors to Duluth

The 400-passenger cruise vessel Columbus will be here today for the first of two visits this year. Built in 1997 in Germany, it has five passenger decks that include a swimming pool, sauna, spa, gym, hospital, library, boutique, salon, wine bar and a lounge with a stage and dance floor. The visit is part of a 10-day cruise beginning in Toronto and ending in Chicago. Other stops on the cruise include Windsor, Tobermory, Parry Sound, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay and Mackinaw Island. It will depart under the Lift Bridge late this afternoon, returning on October 3rd.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-27-2006

Primary 1 / Gregory J. Busch

The barge Primary 1 was loaded on Saturday with 12 wind turbine base units brought here from North Dakota (above). The tug Gregory J. Busch should be pushing the barge out into the lake today on its way to Buffalo where the base units will be taken to a wind farm being built in Upper New York State. This combination took the place of the BBC India which just finished discharging wind turbine units loaded in Denmark and going to North Dakota. The BBC India, waiting to take the place of the Federal Agno which was delayed by weather loading grain at the CHS terminal in Superior, was tied up right next to the tug barge on Sunday. The Federal Agno may leave today, opening the berth to the BBC India. When the cargo holds are filled with grain, the BBC India will return to the Port Terminal to load large electrical components on the deck of the ship, taking them to Iceland on the way to discharging the grain cargo in Ghent, Belgium.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-25-2006

Gregory J. Busch / Primary 1

After completing the discharge from the BBC India of 22 wind turbines on Thursday evening, longshoremen at Lake Superior Warehousing Company turned to loading wind turbine base units onto the barge Primary 1. It arrived in port, pushed by the tug Gregory J. Busch, on Friday morning. All the pieces were loaded on Saturday. After some finishing work on Monday, the tug barge combination should depart for Buffalo. The tug was built in Superior in 1919 as the Humaconna. In 1977, it became the Gregory J. Busch. It served many years in the Pacific Ocean off Puget Sound and up to Alaska. Above, it was at the Port Terminal loading the base units on Saturday.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-24-2006

BBC India discharges nacelles

The BBC India completed discharging the parts for 22 wind turbines last night that will soon be shipped to a North Dakota wind farm built by Siemens. The electrical power generated there will be used by Minnesota Power to keep the lights of Minnesota bright. The last pieces to be brought out, from the bottom of the ship’s hold, were the nacelles, 22 of them. Above, one is being pulled out by the two Port Terminal gantry cranes yesterday. There are five more still sitting in the hold. The nacelle is a covering, or shell, that holds much of the machinery that operates the wind turbine. Doors on the top of the nacelle, here visible on the right side, are opened so that very strong cables hanging down from the crane can be connected to the nacelle so it can be pulled out of the hold. You can see more pictures at:
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-22-2006

Federal Agno relief crew greets crew

The Federal Agno has been here 10 times since 1996 but did not make it here last season. This very bright red ship came into port Thursday evening and began loading grain on Friday morning. That had to stop fairly quickly because of the rain. If the rain goes away, it may be able to depart sometime late today. This ship was built as the Federal Asahi (1) in 1985 but has been the Federal Agno since 1989. It is 599 feet long. The ship, like many ships operated by FedNav in Montreal, is named for a river, in this case, a river in the Philippines. On the most recent trips here, the ship has operated with officers and crew from the Philippines also. On a trip here in May, 2004, a relief captain and 3 crew members had flown to Duluth from the Philippines to report for duty. Here they are greeting their mates on the ship as it went through the Duluth ship canal.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-22-2006

American Spirit departs Duluth ship canal

The American Spirit should be coming into the Twin Ports this morning for the 24th time this season. On this trip, it will be loading taconite at the CN Dock in West Duluth. That cargo will be delivered to an ISG steel plant in Indiana Harbor. The Arthur M. Anderson has been discharging limestone at the CN Dock that it picked up at Cedarville, Michigan. It will leave here later today and load taconite at the CN Dock in West Duluth for a lower lakes port.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-21-2006

BBC India discharges onto truck

The BBC India came back to Duluth on Monday afternoon and began discharging a cargo of wind turbine parts at the Port Terminal on Tuesday morning. The cargo hold on the ship contains parts for 22 wind turbines. With 3 blades per turbine, the ship brought 66 blades, lashed to the deck and some in the cargo hold below deck. They also brought 23 hubs, 23 nacelles, 23 spinners, 23 power units and 20 containers filled with smaller components. These parts will go by truck to North Dakota where Florida Light and Power will build and operate the wind turbines. It will all eventually come back to Minnesota since all the electrical power generated there will be purchased by Minnesota Power. Above, a blade is lowered from the ship to a waiting truck by the Port Terminal’s two gantry cranes.  Pictures of the discharge can be seen at the Lake Superior Warehousing Company page at:
[many more recent entries are there also]
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-20-2006

Kroonborg under the Aerial Lift Bridge

The Dutch flagged Kroonborg was expected here very early this morning. It will be loading beet pulp pellets and may complete and depart the port by this evening. The Kroonborg is 428 feet long and was built in 1995. This is only the 4th trip here for the ship, the first since 2001. Yesterday, the BBC India came into port with wind turbine parts to be discharged. A barge called the Primary 1 that is coming here to load wind turbine parts has been delayed by weather and will now have to wait until the BBC India completes discharging its cargo, in 3 or 4 days. Photo taken June 8, 2000.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-19-2006

Herbert C. Jackson in Twin Ports harbor

The Herbert C. Jackson (above, departing Duluth in August, 2002) will be here today for the 8th time this season. Last year, the Jackson made 15 trips to the Twin Ports. While here, it will load coal for delivery to Marquette, Michigan, on the southern shore of Lake Superior. It will be back again in a week to load more coal for Marquette. The Polish owned and crewed Iryda should be arriving today to load spring wheat and soy beans for Ghent, Belgium. It was built in Japan in 1999. It makes about one trip a year to the Twin Ports, usually staying about two days.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-17-2006

American Fortitude to depart

Sometimes, boats that come into port early in the day, also leave the same day, providing boat watchers with a double chance to see the boat, although they may have to be up early in the morning to do it. The Algosoo is bringing salt into port very early this morning. After discharging that cargo, it will move over to Midwest Energy Resources in Superior to load coal. The only problem: two thousand footers, the American Integrity and the American Century, will be arriving to do the same thing. The Algosoo may get there first, second or third depending upon the progress it makes discharging salt. Perhaps two of the three will be in and out during the same day. Hopefully, some will be around when Inline Marathoners are coming around the DECC on their way to the finish line. A mystery barge, the Primary 1, should be here sometime to load wind mill parts for Buffalo. Above, the American Fortitude, here to load wheat, is departing Duluth last month. It may also come in and go out today.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-16-2006

Mesabi Miner greeted at Canal Park

I am told that the tourist season is over, but the big boats still draw a crowd down at the ship canal and the smaller Vista King still has folks who want to get up close and personal to the big boats. That’s the King in between the Mesabi Miner and the people watching on shore. The crowd does seem to have a slightly higher average age and height than we have in the summer. The Mesabi Miner is here to load coal for Taconite Harbor. It will be back on Sunday to load taconite.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-15-2006

Miner approaching Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge

In a world where ships leave the port for places like Algeria, Italy and beyond, delivering cargo between Lake Superior ports is a local delivery, even if Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world (by area). Every so often, the power generation facility operated by Minnesota Power at Taconite Harbor is in need of coal. Today, the Mesabi Miner gets a turn. It has carried the coal to Taconite Harbor 3 other times this year. The James R. Barker has done the job 4 times and the Paul R. Tregurtha 3 times. All are 1,000 footers. The short trip up the shore usually means we will see the boat a couple days later. The Mesabi Miner will be back again on Sunday, this time loading taconite for a lower lakes port.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-14-2006

Canadian Transport under the Lift Bridge

The Canadian Transport is making its 16th trip here this season, each time loading low sulfur western coal for Ontario Power Generation in Nanticoke. Above, it is going under the Lift Bridge on its 14th trip here on August 20th. It was built in 1979, with its sister ship, the Canadian Enterprise, to move low sulfur, western coal to Ontario power plants. They still work that trade together. The Enterprise is due here Friday. That will be its 15th visit to the Twin Ports. Both boats load about 30,000 tons of coal on each visit. The Canadian Transport has averaged almost nine hours in port on each trip this season. It was expected in last night around 9 pm. That would put it going out under the Lift Bridge around 6 am this morning.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-13-2006

S. Pacific will take wheat to Algeria

The S.Pacific came into port Monday afternoon (above) and is now loading durum wheat for Algeria. For most of Monday, the BBC Singapore was at anchor waiting for the Kwintebank to finish loading bentonite. That happened last night. The BBC Singapore replaced the Kwintebank and is now loading bentonite for Venezuela. After discharging steel coils in Burns Harbor, the Winona arrived on Monday to discharge the last of that cargo. It is now loading durum wheat for Algeria. With all this, the Quebecois should be arriving with the sun this morning with a load of cement. One more boat with limestone and a boat loading coal completes the day.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-12-2006

Winona discharges steel coils

Two ships are expected today that have never visited the Twin Ports. The S. Pacific will be here to load durum wheat for Algeria and the BBC Singapore will be here to load bentonite for Venezuela. The Kwintebank likely arrived last night, also to load bentonite. That would leave the BBC Singapore waiting at anchor until the Kwintebank finishes, probably late tonight. Meanwhile, the Winona will be here with steel coils to discharge before loading durum wheat for Algeria. Above, the Winona was also discharging steel coils here last October.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-11-2006

Coast Guard to the rescue

On Saturday morning, the Coast Guard got a call from a sailboat that had just entered the ship canal from the lake and had lost power in very choppy water. The Coast Guard’s 25 foot response boat was on security patrol in the harbor and answered the call. At 10:52, they were under the bridge and approaching the sailboat. Crew members threw two lines to the sailboat and set up a side tow. At 10:53, they were securing the lines (above). At 10:55, they were away from the piers. Four local reservists, on weekend duty, were on the Coast Guard boat at the time. Above left, is MK3 John Williams and on the right is MKC Jeffery Menze.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-10-2006

Magdalena Green brings wind turbine blades

The Magdalena Green came into port on Wednesday with a cargo hold full of wind turbine parts, all destined to go to a wind farm in Mower County in Southern Minnesota. In this picture, 2 cranes at the Port Terminal (only one is visible) are lifting one of 60 wind turbine blades out of the ship’s hold and are slowly swinging it over the deck. Each blade is lowered onto a truck that takes the blade to another part of the Port Terminal where they are set down. In the coming weeks, each blade will be picked up and placed onto a truck, one blade per truck. They will then begin the final part of a long journey that began in Denmark where the wind turbines were built and loaded onto the ship.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-09-2006

Burns Harbor at Superior entry

If you don’t watch boats at the Superior entry, you don’t often see the Burns Harbor, as it almost exclusively comes to the Twin Ports to load taconite at the Burlington Northern Taconite Facility in Superior. That dock is just inside the Superior entry. The Burns Harbor will be coming to this end of Lake Superior today for the 22nd time this season. Above, it is going out into the Lake through the Superior entry after loading taconite at the BN last month. Today, it will be even further away, making a rare trip to Two Harbors to load taconite for Indiana Harbor. It usually goes to steel facilities there or in Burns Harbor.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-08-2006

Indiana Harbor here again, for coal

The Indiana Harbor will be here today for the 24th time this season. That works out to about 4 or 5 trips a month. She was here 39 times last year. Three of the 24 visits this year found it loading taconite. It loaded coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior during the 21 other visits. Today the Indiana Harbor will be loading coal for Consumers Energy’s Cobb power plant at Muskegon, Michigan. Above, the Indiana Harbor is coming into Duluth last October.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-07-2006

American Republic

It is an active and interesting day. The Magdalena Green is/was expected to come under the Lift Bridge this morning about 6:30. On her deck will be wind turbine blades, a beautiful sight to see, especially if the sun is rising behind the pure white blades as it arrives at the Lift Bridge. A local favorite, the Alpena, should already be here discharging cement. Also this morning, the American Republic will be here to discharge limestone. It is seldom seen here. It is a ‘river’ boat, usually taking taconite up the Cuyahoga River to ISG steel plants in Cleveland. Tonight, we send spring wheat to the Dominican Republic aboard the Chios Pride, and a combination of flax, soy beans and wheat on the Orsula, going to Ghent, Belgium.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-06-2006

Fun in front of Orsula

The Orsula is a grain boat with a flag and a crew from Croatia, but on Monday afternoon, it provided a fitting background for a last day of summer plunges into Lake Superior. Like the rest of us, the Orsula goes back to work today. It is set to come in early this morning to load flax, wheat and soy beans for the port of Ghent in Belgium. Built in China in 1996 as the Federal Calumet, it was renamed to Orsula in 1998. Photo taken on September 03, 2006.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-05-2006

Ryerson captain makes popular decision

Before yesterday, the Edward L. Ryerson had not come through the Duluth piers since May 17th, 1998. It was on its way to the Burlington Northern Taconite Facility in Superior when Captain Eric Treece realized he would have to wait for the CSL Tadoussac to clear the berth. He diverted to the Duluth entry, much to the delight of 100’s of boat watchers at the ship canal. Seven months after that visit to the Twin Ports in 1998, the Ryerson was laid up at what many thought would be its final resting place. It is back on the lakes this year, meaning taconite shipments are up. Many consider the Ryerson to be the prettiest boat on the Great Lakes and the boat has been welcomed in every port it has entered. Yesterday, visitors in Duluth, with the best view of shipping traffic anywhere on the Great Lakes, gave a loud round of applause as the elegant boat passed by.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-04-2006

James R. Barker passes Duluth Canal Park

Many sailors complain about life on a boat. They are usually upset about the isolated environment where there is no place to spend the relatively good wages they make. Many of us who don’t work on boats would love to. Actually, I don’t. I have heard too many sailors complain. Still, it is different and that counts for a lot, even with an upset sailor. But just like real life on land, bad things happen on a boat. The James R. Barker was scheduled to come into port last night and should be leaving today with a load of coal. But it would be here without its long time captain, Joseph Buonocore. He died this past week while home on vacation, after 13 years working as an officer for the Interlake Steamship Company. Above, Duluth greeted the Barker when it came in on July 8th.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-03-2006

Federal Sakura follows towed Sherwin out

The Federal Sakura (on left side of combined picture above) arrived off the Duluth piers last weekend and finally departed Friday evening. The John Sherwin (right side) arrived in the harbor 25 years ago and finally departed Duluth just before the Federal Sakura. The Sherwin is being towed to Chicago by the Great Lakes tug Ohio. The Federal Sakura left for Thunder Bay to continue loading wheat for Algeria.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-02-2006

Ohio to Illinois with Sherwin

Often a ship is at anchor off the Duluth piers because it is waiting for a berth to open up. It is free parking out in the lake and shipping companies like that. The Federal Sakura has been at anchor for many days, but the wait has been for paper work issues. It appears those have been resolved. It is expected to come in early this morning. The ship is only loading about 11,000 tons of wheat here and should be departing later today, going up to Thunder Bay to load an additional 9,000 tons. Then it will head east to the other end of the St. Lawrence Seaway System and top off its cargo holds with 8,000 more tons. Then it is off to Venezuela. Above, the tug Ohio arrived in the Twin Ports yesterday to tow the John Sherwin down to Chicago. That either happened last night or will happen today.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-01-2006