Archives for November 2006

Ice is nice on the John G. Munson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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