Archives for December 2006

CSL Assiniboine loading coal at BN

Coal is still the big cargo. There is not as much back up as yesterday to get to the Midwest Energy Resources coal dock in Superior, but it will still be busy over there. The James R. Barker came in yesterday from the anchorage and will probably leave sometime this morning for Detroit Edison. The Canadian Olympic should also be leaving today with coal, going to Ontario Power Generation in Nanticoke. It was built in Port Weller, Ontario in 1976, the year the Olympics were held in Montreal. The games also provided the name for the new boat. This is its 15th trip here this year. It is scheduled to be back here on January 6th for at least one more load of coal before the season closes. The CSL Assiniboine is expected to load taconite at the Burlington Northern dock in Superior. Above, it is doing the same in July, 2005.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-31-2006

Paul R. Tregurtha under Duluth Lift Bridge

The Paul R. Tregurtha came under the Lift Bridge early Friday afternoon (above) and went to the Port Terminal to wait for the American Integrity to finish loading coal and depart Duluth. That probably happened late last night. The James R. Barker was expected late last night and likely took the place of the Tregurtha at the Port Terminal when it followed the Integrity at the Midwest Energy Coal dock in Superior. Each of these boats is over 1,000 feet long, representing a lot of capacity waiting around. The Canadian Enterprise has been at anchor waiting for the dock and will get the spot sometime. It is usually first come first served. The Canadian Olympic is out in the Lake, probably taking its time since it will have to wait some where to load its coal.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-30-2006

John D. Leitch approaching Duluth

The John D. Leitch will be here today to load coal. It has only been here 15 times since 1996, continuing a steady stream of seldom seen boats coming here at the end of the season. It often brings salt in but we have not had a very bad winter and thus don’t have quite the need for salt that we usually do. This is the second visit here this year for the Leitch; it was here in May as well (above). In 2001, when the Leitch was known as the Canadian Century, it received a new midsection, giving it a larger cargo hold and soon thereafter a new name.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-29-2006

Wilfred Sykes one of the beauties

Click on picture for larger enhanced view

The Wilfred Sykes arrived off the Superior piers yesterday and dropped anchor to wait for the Adam E. Cornelius to complete loading taconite at the Burlington Northern Dock in Superior. Like the two boats mentioned here yesterday, the Sykes is seldom seen and when it is here, it is cold. But the Sykes has taken seldom seen too far. The last time it was in the Twin Ports was in December, 1997. Above, it is departing Duluth on December 22nd, 1997. Continuing with the seldom seen trend, it stayed at anchor off the Superior piers until dark, and (presumably) came into port when the Adam E. Cornelius finished (presumably), late last night. It may leave shortly after the sun comes up this morning.

*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-28-2006

CSL Niagara under Aerial Lift Bridge

The CSL Niagara and the CSL Laurentien will both be here today to load taconite at the CN dock. They don’t come here very often but for some reason, they seem to show up when it is cold. Last season, both were here a total of 10 times. Five of those trips were in December and January. This year, the CSL Laurentien appeared here on March 23, coming down from Thunder Bay to get an early start on the season. It was the first boat to arrive that hadn’t spent the winter in the port. It is very unusual for a Canadian boat to be here that early since the Soo Locks would not be open that early. They have been here this season only 6 times. They almost always load taconite or coal when here. Above, the CSL Niagara comes under the Lift Bridge in January, 2005.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-27-2006

Great Lakes Trader-Joyce L. Van Enkevort

Christmas Day was a light day for shipping in the Twin Ports. The John G. Munson departed Duluth around 8 am and the tug barge Great Lakes Trader arrived early afternoon (above). It came in under the Lift Bridge to get fuel before moving over to the Burlington Northern dock in Superior to load taconite. Both the Duluth and the Superior entry will be active today, and Two Harbors will be full with a line waiting. There may be some changes to this listing since shipping companies do not like to have their boats sitting around waiting. That does nothing but spend their money, although it will give the crew a little more time with Christmas left overs. Lobster and steak are the mainstays of most Christmas dinners on Great Lakes boats.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-26-2006

John G. Munson in the Duluth ship canal

Midwest Energy Resources is the most active dock in the Twin Ports, loading coal into boats on a regular basis, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Almost. Their schedule for today reads: NO ACTIVITY; STARTING 12/24 @ 1500hrs – 12/25 @ 2300hrs. That of course makes Tuesday a very busy day at Midwest. In fact, both Tuesday and Wednesday will be very active days in the Twin Ports. Four boats are arriving under the Lift Bridge on Tuesday and five boats will be stopping, or waiting, at Burlington Northern. On Wednesday, 7 boats are expected to arrive at the Duluth entry, 3 for taconite and 4 for coal. Of course, this lineup will undoubtedly change as the week goes on. Boats down on the list may get rerouted by the home office, or they may check down out in the lake rather than rushing in to wait in line. Above, the John G. Munson comes into Duluth last week.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-25-2006

St. Clair, Bayfield and Lift Bridge

The St. Clair arrived Duluth last night around 6 o’clock to load coal for Detroit Edison’s St. Clair power plant near St. Clair, Michigan. The boat was built in 1976 to deliver coal to the plant, even though the first delivery made was iron ore to Indiana Harbor. The boat was also named after the power plant. It is seen above going under the Lift Bridge last night, passing by the Marine Museum’s tug Bayfield, decorated for the holidays. The 45-foot tug was built in 1953. When the Corps of Engineers took over the tug in 1962, it was renamed in honor of the harbor of the town in Wisconsin by the same name.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-24-2006

Munson and American Century meet

The John G. Munson is expected here this evening with coal loaded in Ashtabula. When that job is completed, it is expected to get fuel before moving up to Two Harbors to load taconite for Conneaut. This is the 20th trip the Munson has made to the Twin Ports this season. The two thousand footers that Oglebay Norton sold to American Steamship earlier this year will both be here to load coal at Midwest Energy Resources. The Indiana Harbor, another thousand footer owned by American Steamship since it was built in 1979, should be loading coal there in between them. The American Century (formerly the Columbia Star) came in early this morning and followed the Canadian Enterprise there. It should have departed very early this morning and the Indiana Harbor likely moved in just after it departed. The American Integrity (formerly the Oglebay Norton) was expected early this morning and will wait for the Indiana Harbor to complete loading. Above, the John G. Munson was departing last March while the Columbia Star (now the American Century) was coming in.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-23-2006

Indiana Harbor in the Twin Ports harbor

Two US flagged thousand footers and one Canadian flagged boat will be here today to load coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior. The Canadian Enterprise should be first at the dock followed by the American Century. Later this evening, the Indiana Harbor will arrive. The Canadian Enterprise and the American Century will load for Ontario Power Generation in Nanticoke. The Indiana Harbor will load for Detroit Edison at St. Clair, Michigan. On two previous trips this month, the Indiana Harbor took its coal to Ontario Power. Above, it leaves Duluth on December 1st on the first trip to Nanticoke. Detroit Edison owns Midwest Energy Resources and obviously uses some of the coal itself while also selling it to other parties such as Ontario Power Generation.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-22-2006

Reserve coming to winter 05-06 layup

The Reserve should be here today to discharge a load of limestone before heading over to Silver Bay to load taconite. It came in for winter lay up on January 12th of this year (the last shipping season) (above) and in early March, it was sold by Oglebay Norton to K&K Warehousing, Inc. of Menominee, Michigan for $4 million. This will be the 13th trip here for the Reserve this season. That is about the number of trips it has made here for the last several seasons.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-21-2006

Anders and Donna from Algolake

Algolake Captain Anders Rasmussen and his wife Donna say good-bye to Duluth late yesterday afternoon as they head off to Thunder Bay to discharge the 30,000 tons of coal they loaded at Midwest Energy Resources earlier in the day. That will be used by Ontario Power Generation. After discharging that coal, they will take on more coal (a different grade) in Thunder Bay for the Great Lakes Steel dock in Detroit. They then turn around and come back to the Twin Ports for more coal, taking it to Ontario Power Generation, this time in Nanticoke. Officers on Great Lakes boats often have family members on board with them for at least one trip each season.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-20-2006

Alder gets attention

There was a waiting line at the Midwest Energy Resources coal dock last night. That means we started the day with departures from there. The American Mariner may have already departed and the Algolake should complete later this morning. That should give the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. a clear shot at going right in to take on its load of coal when it arrives this afternoon. The Alder came back to town yesterday after 19 days of buoy tending on Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. Above, the Alder is moving through the harbor as a photographer follows. Shortly after this, the ship turned toward its dock to tie up for a holiday break. It will then be ready to break some ice, if there is any.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-19-2006

Algolake departs Duluth in sunshine

The Algolake will be here for the 17th time this year, loading, as usual, low sulfur coal brought here by train from mines in Montana and Wyoming. That’s about 2 trips a month, the rate it has visited over the last 4 or 5 years. Three boats will be coming in the Duluth entry today, all loading coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior. There will be two boats coming to the Burlington Northern facility in Superior to load taconite. The CN dock in Two Harbors, like BN, only loads taconite. One boat will be going there today. Above, the Algolake departs Duluth in June, 2002.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-18-2006

Munson entering Twin Ports harbor

Thursday night, the BBC France became the 137th and last salt water ship to come under the Lift Bridge this season. Very early Saturday morning, the Federal Margaree was the last salt water ship to leave the Twin Ports this year. That was the earliest day in December for the last boat to leave since the Lake Champlain closed up the season in 2000 on the same date. The last boat in 1999 was the Lady Hamilton, leaving here on December 20th. That was the latest departure date since 1996. Two ships in 1997 also left on the 20th. Meanwhile, back in the port this year, the John G. Munson arrived Duluth just as the sun was setting Saturday afternoon (above). The US and Canadian flagged vessels will be coming and going until about January 20th.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-17-2006

BBC France taking on cargo

On Friday morning, longshoremen at Lake Superior Warehousing Company loaded the last cargo of the year from the Port Terminal into a salt water ship. The Port’s two gantry cranes slowly lowered an electrical module into the hold of the BBC France (above). That done, workers secured the cargo, closed up the hold and waited for a relief captain to come aboard. He arrived in the early afternoon and took his ship under the Lift Bridge around 2:30 pm. With the good weather, he should have no trouble getting out of the St. Lawrence Seaway system before it closes for the winter. They will head over to Iceland to discharge their cargo. The last salt water ship of the year, the Federal Margaree, was set to depart late last night with a cargo of grain.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-16-2006

BBC France nearing Aerial Lift Bridge

The BBC France was set to arrive last night around midnight. This morning at 8 am, longshoremen at Lake Superior Warehousing Company will begin loading one very heavy prefabricated electrical module onto the ship. The ship will depart Duluth later today to take the module to Iceland where it will be used in an aluminum smelter operation being built there by Alcoa. Several other ships have taken the same cargo to Iceland this season. Leaving the port today also will be the Goldeneye, its cargo holds filled with bentonite for Poland. That should leave one more salt water ship this season. That would be the Federal Margaree, due here today to load grain. Above, the BBC France departs Duluth in early July, 2005.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-15-2006

Federal Oshima

The Federal Oshima has been in port since Monday evening, loading soy beans and spring wheat at the AGP terminal in Duluth. It should depart sometime this afternoon, taking that cargo to Antwerp, Belgium. Built in 1999 in Japan, it is 629 feet long, a little over 77 feet wide and bright red. It is built for easier passage through ice, which will be helpful as it moves through the Seaway system in mid-December. The flared bow improves the performance on the ocean and the straight sides enable it to carry packaged cargo as well as the bulk cargo it is loading now.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-14-2006

St. Clair about to depart Twin Ports

Today is a good day to watch ships depart Duluth. All 4 set to go under the Lift Bridge today will be going out into the Lake. Three salties will be leaving, and one US freighter, the St. Clair. On Thursday, the last three salt water ships of the year, the BBC France, the Federal Margaree and the Goldeneye, should be arriving. They will not have to compete for space since they are all handling very different cargo. The Federal Margaree will be loading grain, the BBC France will discharge steel coils and the Goldeneye will load bentonite. It is unusual for 3 salt water ships to leave one day and three more arrive the next. The St. Clair came in last night around dinner time for coal. Above, it is seen departing Duluth in May of 2004.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-13-2006

Federal Welland loading grain

The Ziemia Gornoslaska is due here this morning to load grain. This afternoon the Federal Welland arrives to load bentonite. Above, the Federal Welland is seen loading grain on a visit here in September, 2001. It is bright red. Today marks only the 4th visit the Federal Welland has made to the Twin Ports. The Ziemia Gornoslaska has been here 13 times since 1996. The Federal Oshima was expected in last night to load grain. There are only 3 more salt water vessels scheduled for the rest of the season at this time. The last salt water vessel usually leaves the port by December 19th, a week from today.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-12-2006

Goldeneye greeted by Canal Park crowd

After stopping at Oshawa, near Toronto, to discharge cargo, the Goldeneye is expected here today to load bentonite for Poland. It came into port last June, above, to load spring wheat for Venezuela. The Greek-owned Goldeneye is under charter to a Canadian company, Canadian Forest Navigation. Built in 1986, the ship has also sailed under the names Sun Ocean and Luna Verde. This is the 8th trip here for the Goldeneye since 1995.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-11-2006

I saw the Harbor ice

Above, the Indiana Harbor is seen departing Duluth on the first of this month. It took a cargo of coal to Ontario Power Generation at Nanticoke. Yesterday, it returned to take on another load of coal for Nanticoke. After it departs, three boats are scheduled to follow it at Midwest Energy – the Kaye E. Barker, the Algolake, and then the Paul R. Tregurtha. Two other boats originally scheduled for Sunday have been moved back to early Monday morning, perhaps because of weather out on the lake (high wind).
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-10-2006

Kaye E. has visibility problem

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It is another big day for coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior. And of course, at the end of the season, sometime in January, we will be able to say it was another big year for coal in the Twin Ports. The Walter J. McCarthy Jr. came in last night around 6 pm to load coal for Detroit Edison. The Kaye E. Barker is expected this morning to load coal for Marquette, Michigan. There have been weather delays there so the Barker may have to wait. This is the first visit to the Twin Ports for the Barker since it suffered a boiler explosion on November 5th. They were on Lake Superior close to Whitefish Point when the explosion occurred. Above, the Barker is seen coming into the port for winter lay up on January 23rd, 2004.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-09-2006

North Carolina ice

It looks like the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. may be the only boat coming under the Lift Bridge today. They should be here in the late afternoon, going over to Midwest Energy Resources in Superior to load 62,000 tons of low sulfur western coal for Detroit Edison at St. Clair, Michigan. Only three boats are expected on Saturday. They will also be loading coal at Midwest Energy. Ice is becoming a factor in the port. The tug boats have been out breaking up the ice and helping ships get into and out of their berths. The tugs have their own ice problems, accumulating a lot of it as the season wears on. Above, the tug North Carolina is waiting to help a ship get out of the ice on December 18th, 2000.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-08-2006

Inviken approaching Duluth Lift Bridge

After making stops in Cleveland and Burns Harbor to discharge general cargo, the Norwegian owned Inviken should be arriving here today, perhaps in the early afternoon. On past trips, it flew the Bahamian flag with a crew from the Philippines. The operator, Viken Shipping, located in Bergen, Norway, also operates the Daviken, Goviken, Sandviken, and the Utviken. They all visit the Twin Ports periodically. The Inviken is a versatile ship. It has been here 5 times since 1996. On one trip, it loaded bentonite here and then went to Thunder Bay to load grain. Another trip, in 2004, found it discharging steel coils here and then going down to Milwaukee to load corn for Algeria. On this trip, the Inviken will load wheat for Italy. Above, it is arriving Duluth in June, 2004.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-07-2006

Orla looks nice with ice

The Polish owned and operated Orla is making its 4th trip to the Twin Ports today. Above, it is coming in on the first trip in December, 2000. The last time it was here was just in August this year. It will be loading spring wheat for Italy while it is here. The Orla was built in 1999 and is 490 feet long. The Federal Seto will be loading taconite today at Burlington Northern for Algeria. That will be the last salt water ship this year to load taconite for Algeria.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-06-2006

American Century says see you later, Duluth

Three thousand footers will be here today loading coal. The Paul R. Tregurtha, at 1,013 feet 6 inches long, is the longest of the 13 thousand footers on the lakes. It came in last night at 6:30 and should depart sometime this morning. The American Integrity and American Century should also be arriving to load coal, although the Century may not get here until early Wednesday morning. The Tregurtha and the Integrity will be loading about 62,000 tons for Detroit Edison. The American Century will be going to Ontario Power Generation in Nanticoke with another 62,000 tons. Above, the American Century entertained visitors to the Duluth ship canal on July 4th this past summer.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-05-2006

Varnebank loading in Duluth harbor

Two Dutch ships will be here today to load beet pulp pellets from North Dakota. The Vancouverborg is making its 16th trip to the Twin Ports today, the first this season. It was built in 2001. The Varnebank is making its 3rd trip this year. Above, the Varnebank is departing Duluth on October 3rd, 2002 after the 1st of its 8 visits here since it was built in 2000. Beet pulp pellets are usually taken to Spain or Morocco where they are used for animal feed. Along with molasses, they are one of the primary by-products of sugar production.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-04-2006

McCarthy arrives Duluth for coal, again

The Walter J. McCarthy Jr. is a frequent visitor to the Twin Ports. Above, it came in on October 28th this year to load the usual cargo of coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior for Detroit Edison in St. Clair, Michigan. This will be the 1,000-footer’s 40th trip here this season. None of this should be surprising since Detroit Edison owns Midwest Energy Resources, and the McCarthy was named for the former president of Detroit Edison. It has averaged a little over 13 hours in port this year. That average does include time spent loading fuel, waiting in line and traveling between the Lift Bridge and Midwest Energy.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-03-2006

Alpena arrives to warm welcome

The Alpena is here for the 13th time this season, bringing cement in on each occasion. It was originally the Leon Fraser when it was built in 1942 for the Pittsburgh Steamship Company. It was modified for salt water duty for a time, sat idle during the 80’s and was shortened by 120 feet in the late 80’s and turned into a cement carrier. That happened at Fraser Shipyards in Superior. Inland Lakes bought the Leon Fraser in 1990, renamed it and put it in the cement trade in June, 1991. It is a very pretty boat and it often attracts a crowd, as above when it came into port last August 21st.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-02-2006

Indiana Harbor routine

The crew on the Indiana Harbor will live like normal people today. They should pull into port about the time many of us are going to work, although their commute from Nanticoke is a bit longer than the average Twin Ports commute. After a hard day of loading coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior, they will depart Duluth around 5 or 6 tonight to return to Nanticoke, about the same time we are heading home. Above, the Indiana Harbor is arriving for work at 6:04 in the evening on October 10th. They left town at 6:04 the next morning. Not so normal.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-01-2006