Archives for November 2006

Ice is nice on the John G. Munson

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The John G. Munson will be here today for the 18th time this season. It is coming with a cargo of limestone loaded at Calcite, Michigan. It brings limestone on many of its trips here and often loads coal as a down bound cargo. Today, it will go to Two Harbors to load taconite after discharging the limestone in Superior. Above, it is coming in to Duluth on January 20th, 2004. Built in 1952, it was lengthened by 120 feet in 1976, an upgrade that extended its useful life on the Great Lakes. Unlike many other boats built in the 50’s, the Munson has always had a self-unloading boom on the deck.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-30-2006

Frontenac playing icebreaker

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The Canadian flagged Frontenac will be here today for the 10th time this season. Above it is breaking up some ice and snow as it entered the Duluth ship canal on March 29th, 2003. With the high winds we have had, it is lucky for ship captains that the temperature has been above freezing. Below freezing and the water of Lake Superior becomes ice on the hull and the deck, especially when heading into the wind. Lower temperatures and high winds from the east would have added a lot of ice to the decks of ships departing Duluth yesterday. Wait for a west wind with lower temperatures to see ice covered boats arriving. While not appreciated by the captain, the boats are fun to look at. I get more requests from on board personnel for pictures of their boat covered in ice and snow than not, so even they appreciate the look of it if not the added weight and inconvenience.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-28-2006

American Fortitude

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Six US flagged lakers will be in port today, four of them were sold this spring from Oglebay Norton to American Steamship. The first part of each new name is American. The other two involved in the sale, the American Integrity and the American Valor, will make an appearance on Wednesday. The 5th laker here today is the Walter J. McCarthy Jr., a boat that has been owned by American Steamship since it was built in 1977. The 6th one, the St. Clair, has been owned by American Steamship since it was built in 1976. The American Fortitude, due here today to load taconite, is seen above coming into port on November 5th.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-28-2006

Thekla has many German sisters

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The salt water vessel Thekla came in last night with steel coils to discharge at the Port Terminal this morning. It has been here twice before, once in 2003 and again in 2005 (above). The Rebecca is due here later today with more steel coils. It was just here in early October to load wheat. Both ships are owned by a German company that names a lot of its ships, including these two, after girls names ending in ‘a.’ Why I do not know, but a number of them visit the Twin Ports. Amanda, Anja, Katja, Nina, Tatjana, Winona and Xenia have all been here. The Polish owned Isa should have come in from the anchorage around 6 am this morning to load grain.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-27-2006

Isa enters Duluth shipping canal

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The Polish owned Isa was built in 1999 and came to Duluth in August of that year but has only been back 7 other times, the last visit being in late October, 2004 (above). It is currently sitting at anchor and should be coming into load grain around 6 am Monday morning. Two other salt water ships should be coming in today: the Thekla will be here with steel coils and the Spar Jade is coming to load bentonite.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-26-2006

Federal Agno loading at Hallett

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About 20,000 tons of chromium ore, the last of one million tons originally stockpiled in Montana during the Second World War, was loaded into the Federal Agno yesterday at the Hallett Dock in West Duluth. The ore is now owned by a company in Sweden. For several years, 2 or 3 ships a year have been moving the pile from here to Sweden. There is only about 40,000 tons left at Hallett. However, we may see it again since much of it is likely to be used to make specialty steel, some of which is imported from Sweden into the United States. Yesterday (above), a Hallett front end loader dropped some of the fine, black material onto a conveyor belt that took it up to the ship and then into the cargo hold. The ship left for Sweden yesterday afternoon.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-25-2006

Block out, Federal Agno in

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Yesterday, as the Joseph L. Block was departing Duluth for Two Harbors with a half load of iron ore, the Federal Agno came in to load chromium ore for Sweden. If you were taking a walk by the ship canal, this was a great opportunity to see two boats. If you were in the long line of cars waiting for the Lift Bridge to come down, you were waiting for the dreaded two-for-one, two boats coming under the bridge during one lift. If you had a camera, it was just a nice picture (above).
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-24-2006

American Integrity is A-OK

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It has been a hard couple days for boat, crew and cargo on several boats doing business in the Twin Ports. The Dutch flagged Virginiaborg left Duluth on November 17th. By the time it arrived at the Soo Locks, a fire was discovered in both of the ship’s two cargo holds. It was allowed to pass through the Soo Locks and then the smoking cargo, beet pulp pellets loaded in Duluth, was removed. The Paul R. Tregurtha has been seen around here for the last several visits with a tug close by because of a malfunctioning bow thruster. Yesterday, two new blades were added to the bow thruster and the boat was back in business by 6 pm last night. When it completed, earlier this morning, the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. should have followed the Tregurtha at the coal dock. A crew member on the McCarthy had to be taken off the boat by Coast Guard helicopter on Sunday after getting sick. I don’t think anything is wrong with the cargo or crew of the American Integrity also due here today. Above, it is departing Duluth on September 11th.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-22-2006

Adam E. Cornelius arriving Duluth

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The Adam E. Cornelius came into port on Monday morning with a cargo of limestone loaded in Calcite, Michigan (above). After discharging that cargo, it moved over to the CN dock in West Duluth to load taconite for Gary. The boat was built as the Roger M. Kyes in 1973 and became the Adam E. Cornelius in 1989. It was chartered to Inland Steel for many years, but since 1998, it has sailed for American Steamship Company in Buffalo.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-21-2006

Joseph L. Block turning in the harbor

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The Joseph L. Block is expected in the Twin Ports today to discharge a cargo of slag and then load taconite byproduct before leaving for Two Harbors to complete loading for a lower lakes port. The boat was built for Inland Steel in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin and is named for a former chairman of the board of Inland Steel. He was born in 1902 and was chairman from 1959 to 1967. This will be the Block’s 14th trip here this season. That is more trips it has made here already this season since it was here 16 times in 1999.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-20-2006

Edwin H. Gott with Duluth backdrop

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You never can be sure where you are going on a Great Lakes freighter. The Edwin H. Gott was expected to load taconite at Two Harbors for Gary on Thursday. Instead, it will be here today to get fuel first and then load taconite at Burlington Northern for Detroit. Assuming it does get here and do that, it will be the 10th trip to the Twin Ports this season. It was last here in late August. It was here 21 times last season. The Gott is the most powerful boat on the Great Lakes, generating 19,500 hp with two diesel engines. Built in 1979 at Sturgeon Bay, it was named for the president of the United States Steel Company from 1967 to 1969. Photo taken January 15, 2006.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-19-2006