Archives for April 2007

Federal Patroller has had many names

On April 19th, the Federal Patroller departed Montreal for Burns Harbor to discharge general cargo. On the 24th, it left Burns Harbor for Duluth, arriving Sunday around 5 pm (above). It was last here in April, 2004 but it was called the Atlantic Patroller. Built in 1999, it has also been named the Atlantic Pride, the Seaboard Rover and the African Patroller. It is the first of two ships that will be loading chromium ore at the Hallett Dock in the next couple days. Both ships will carry the cargo to Sweden where it is used in the making of steel.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-30-2007

Presque Isle, a tug and a barge

After discharging taconite in Conneaut, Ohio, the Presque Isle will be here today to load more taconite. Above, it is departing Duluth on August 2, 2002. This is the 3rd trip here for the Presque Isle this month. It is a unique tug-barge combination that together measures 1,000 feet long. When here, it usually loads taconite. The tug Presque Isle was built in New Orleans. The bow of the barge was built in Michigan and the body of the barge was built in Erie, Pennsylvania. In 1973, all the pieces were joined there and the vessel was launched as the second 1,000 foot vessel on the Great Lakes. The Stewart J. Cort, also in port today, was the first 1,000 footer on the Great Lakes. It was launched in 1972, also at Erie.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-29-2007

The Fairlane officers and crew

The Dutch flagged Fairlane arrived in Duluth on Tuesday morning with heavy equipment. After discharging that cargo, they were scheduled to depart shortly after midnight this morning. During a break, the Captain and crew posed for a picture. First row: able seaman Quillermo Denampo Jr (Filipino), able seaman Victor P. Amponin (Filipino), cadet Nicolaas A Snijder (Dutch), welder Virgilio A. Pacturan (Filipino), 3rd mate Martin J. P Kalsbeek (Dutch) Second row: cadet Andrew J. Dudley (Canadian), Gp Steward Sisenando de G Vergara (Filipino), cook Fernando J. Jarino (Filipino), boatswain Ray D Daroy (Filipino), stewardess Maria Jose da Ponte Pacheco (Dutch) Third row: 2nd engineer Patrick L. G. Feddes (Dutch), chief officer Meindert F Schermer (Dutch), assistant engineer Jose M Chantre Lopes (Portuguese), 2nd mate Jeroen van Boheemen (Dutch), Captain Wilhelmus W. G. van Vugt (Dutch) Fourth row: Port Captain R. Dudley, able seaman Jerry Francisco (Filipino), able seaman Sergio Ortega Jr. (Filipino), O/S Albert G Diana (Filipino)
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-28-2007

The tug Mark Hannah brings salt water

The tug Mark Hannah arrived in port on Thursday morning with a barge filled with calcium chloride, otherwise known as saltwater. The cargo was pumped from salt mines near Ludington, Michigan. The source of the calcium chloride is essentially a well near or in a salt mine. It is a high grade liquid (42% salt content) that needs to be diluted a bit here before it is sent to the end customer, mostly county highway departments in Minnesota. They use it to keep the dust down on road construction or maintenance projects. The tug barge is owned and operated by Hannah Marine, located in a suburb of Chicago. They have the largest U.S. flagged liquid bulk fleet on the Great Lakes.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-27-2007

Moving the Schnabel car

Spring time is a time to go outside and get some exercise. It turns out rail road cars also need exercise. The world’s largest rail car is the Schnabel, Model CEBX-800. When not in use, it is kept at the Port Terminal. It has been there since it was used to carry a very large piece of equipment from Duluth to an oil sands project in Alberta in December, 2005. William Bingman is the Schnabelmeister. He is on the car when it is in use; otherwise, he is in Hawaii. But he does come here once a year (not in the winter) to give a yearly maintenance check to the car. It is only connected to a locomotive when it is going somewhere; otherwise it stays in one place. On Tuesday, Bingman borrowed Zoran Pedisic, stevedore at Lake Superior Warehousing Company, and a rather large lift truck, connected the two together and asked Pedisic to move it up and down the track for a few laps to make sure the wheels were rotated and in good working order. In the picture above, that’s the Schnabel behind Pedisic. It is bright red. The Schnabelmeister is watching every rotation but is not in the picture.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-26-2007

Algosoo here for coal

Just when it was starting to look like we might not get so many visits from salt water ships this season, we are now expecting 7 of them in the next week. The Fairlane and the Irma should be arriving a little after the sun rises at 6:05 this morning. Both may make pretty pictures if you can get down to the lake in time. Ships often do not arrive on time, but the salt water ships that are set to arrive around 6 am in the morning often arrive on time since they set that time while out on the lake for convenience. Arriving at 6 am gives them an hour to tie up at the berth, and another hour to process customs and other legal paper work. Then they are ready to greet Duluth’s longshoremen and get on with the work of, in the case of the Fairlane, discharging heavy equipment and in the case of the Irma, loading grain. Above, the Algosoo was expected here just after midnight to load coal. That put her departure not too much after the two salt water ships arrive.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-24-2007

Polish flagged Irma here for 12th trip

The Polish owned and operated Irma will be here today for the 12th time since it was built in 2000 in Japan. It only made one trip in 2005 and only one in 2006. The ship has 6 regular cargo holds and it will be filling each hold with a different grain on this trip. Usually a ship will load only one type of grain, or perhaps two. The Irma is a modern ship with a lot of computer controlled activities. The engine room is unmanned, although an alarm system will activate when a computer detects a problem needing human intervention. It usually carries a crew of 20, on past trips, all from Poland. Above, it is departing Duluth after loading grain in May, 2002. You can see 3 onboard cranes that are used for handling cargo, although they are not usually used when the ship is in the Twin Ports.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-23-2007

The James R. Barker took coal to Marquette, Michigan on St. Pat’s Day

At the beginning of the season, the Mesabi Miner loaded 3 cargos of coal for Lake Superior ports before any other boats had moved. Last year, the James R. Barker did the same thing. Above, the Barker is departing Duluth last year for Marquette, Michigan on March 17th. Today, the Barker was expected to leave Taconite Harbor early this morning to return to the Twin Ports to load coal. This will be its 5th trip here this season. The boat split the first 4 trips evenly between coal and taconite. The Barker was launched in 1976, a year before its fleet mate the Mesabi Miner was launched. Both are 1,000 feet long and are owned and operated by Interlake Steamship in Cleveland. This year, both boats are alternating loads of coal with loads of taconite.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-22-2007

Vista King and Vista Star come out for spring

The Duluth inner harbor witnessed two important signs of spring on Friday, despite the continued presence of floating ice. Both the Vista King and the Vista Star made their way from their winter home at Fraser Shipyards in Superior to their summer positions; the King tying up at the the dock in front of the DECC while the Star pulled up just in front of the William A. Irvin, and next to the Sundew. That brings up the second sign. Our infamous Minnesota Slip Bridge went up on the first try, a true harbinger of a great summer to come. With the bridge up, the Star went under (above) and assumed its usual position. Later today, the Kwintebank will be arriving to load beet pulp pellets. We usually have about thirty visits a year from the Wagenborg boats, this being the first of them.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-21-2007

Atlantic Erie goes through ice with grain

There should be 4 boats arriving today to load coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior. Three of the boats are US flagged 1,000-footers taking coal to 3 different ports. When they are through, the Canadian Transport will move in although it may drop anchor off the Duluth piers until the big guys get done. The 3 thousand footers, the James R. Barker, the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. and the Paul R. Tregurtha will be taking coal to Taconite Harbor, Nanticoke and Detroit respectively. The Canadian Transport will take coal to Ontario Power Generation in Nanticoke. Above, the Atlantic Erie departed Duluth late Thursday afternoon with grain.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-20-2007

Philip R. Clarke brings limestone from Calcite, Michigan

The Philip R. Clarke loaded limestone in Calcite, Michigan and is expected here today to discharge part of that cargo at the Hallett #8 Dock in Superior before moving across the St. Louis River to discharge the rest of the limestone at the CN Dock in West Duluth. That completed, it will load taconite pellets at the CN Dock and then depart Duluth for Conneaut, Ohio. Above, the Clarke arrives in Duluth last October. The Clarke was the first of 8 boats built in the early 50’s that are called AAA class vessels. The boat has been updated several times over its life, including one change that added 120 feet to the length of the boat.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 4/19/2007

Canadian Progress to load coal

The Canadian Progress (now Algoma Progress) arrived in port last night, making its 2nd trip of the year. It was first here on April 9th. Both trips found the boat loading coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior. That is the usual loading dock for the Canadian Progress, and like all the trips it makes to the Twin Ports, it will carry the cargo to Ontario Power Generation in Nanticoke. The Canadian Progress has a 250 foot self unloading boom to discharge its cargo. When under way, the boom sits on the deck of the boat as above on a trip here in 2004. When loading coal here, the boom is swung out over the river (St. Louis) so it is out of the way as the coal loader moves up and down the deck pouring coal into the boat’s cargo holds.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 4/18/2007

Going to Two Harbors on a dredge

The crane barge Dean R. Smith was pushed out of the Duluth piers by the tug Miss Laura early Monday evening. In the picture above they are just beyond the North Pier Light, making a turn toward Two Harbors. Owned and operated by Marine Tech, a local dredging and construction company, the rig will spend two to three days in Two Harbors doing routine maintenance at the CN taconite dock. The rig carries a crew of 4. They do double duty as the crew for the rig when it is under power on the lake and as the work crew for the project. On some jobs, they would spend the night on the tug, but since Two Harbors is close by, they will return home each evening.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 4/16/2007


Paul R. Tregurtha crewmembers come home to Duluth

Brad Johnson and Brian Gallop didn’t just arrive in Duluth on the Paul R. Tregurtha Sunday afternoon to work. They were both coming home as well. Brad (above, left) is second cook on the boat. When not on the boat, he is at home in Cloquet. Brian (above, right) is a conveyor man on the boat and calls Grand Rapids home. The Tregurtha is here about once a week during the season, giving both a chance to get some home cooking once in a while. They probably departed the Midwest Energy Resource Dock in Superior earlier this morning, taking about 62,000 tons of coal to the Detroit Edison power plant in St. Clair, Michigan.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 4/16/2007

Cason J. Callaway brings limestone from Calcite

The Cason J. Callaway came into port on Saturday morning at 12:47 with the first cargo of limestone for the year. Loaded in Calcite, Michigan, it first discharged that cargo and then loaded taconite at the CN Dock in West Duluth. It likely departed Duluth this morning, about the same time it arrived the day before, headed for Conneaut, Ohio, a port on Lake Erie. Above, the Callaway on March 9th of this year, at winter lay up at Fraser Shipyards. Above the boat is the Blatnik Bridge and in front, on the right, is the St. Clair, another laker also at Fraser for the winter.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 4/15/2007

American Integrity here for more coal

The American Integrity arrived Duluth on Friday, coming under the Lift Bridge around 3 in the afternoon (above). This is the 3rd trip to the Twin Ports for the 1,000 footer that used to come here as the Oglebay Norton. Since last June, when Oglebay Norton sold the boat to American Steamship, it arrives under the current name. As usual, it will be loading coal at Midwest Energy in Superior and taking it to the St. Clair power plant of Detroit Edison. It should have departed Duluth earlier this morning and is expected in St. Clair on Monday morning. After discharging about 62,000 tons of coal, it will leave there late Monday night to come back and do it again, arriving in the Twin Ports next Thursday morning. As usual, that schedule can be easily delayed by weather.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 4/14/2007

Frontenac here for 2nd time this season

The Frontenac left Duluth on Thursday evening (above) after making its 2nd trip to the Twin Ports this season. Yesterday, it loaded taconite at the CN Dock in West Duluth. On most of its trips to the Twin Ports, the boat can be found loading taconite at the Burlington Northern Dock in Superior. It is owned and operated by Canada Steamship Lines of Montreal. Built in 1968, it was named for the French governor of the French possessions in North America in the late 17th century. He established a government at Quebec.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 4/13/2007

Adam E. Cornelius departs with wheat

The Adam E. Cornelius departed Duluth on Wednesday afternoon (above) with a load of wheat for General Mills in Buffalo. It was its 1st trip here this season. It was here 15 times last year. Today, the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. will follow the American Century loading coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior. The St. Clair should arrive and begin to load taconite at the CN Dock in West Duluth when the American Spirit departs with taconite for steel mills in Indiana Harbor. The very popular and beautiful Edward L. Ryerson will be making its first trip here, stopping at Burlington Northern to load taconite.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 4/12/2007

Rebecca comes to Duluth

Spring can’t be too far away if our tugs are bringing salt water ships into port to load grain. The Rebecca was the first saltie of the year, coming in yesterday afternoon. It is now loading grain at the CHS terminal in Superior. Above, the tug Minnesota had the stern of the Rebecca while the North Dakota was at the bow. Salt water ships are built for speed on the oceans and not for navigating inside harbors, so tugs are often called upon to help the ships maneuver around the turns and into the berths where they will be loading. In the picture above, you can see several patches of ice. The inner harbor was about half full of ice last night as the east wind is giving us all the ice that Lake Superior doesn’t want. If the predicted snow arrived last night, a walk down by the harbor today will look like a day in December with nothing but ice and snow.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 4/11/2007

Rebecca: First saltwater ship of 2007

Arrived: April 10, 2007 at 12:10 pm
She loaded grain at CHS in Superior
Click here
for more about the Rebecca.

Ice not nice

The Canadian Transport came into port last night around 6 pm (above). It went over to Midwest Energy Resources to load coal and likely left early this morning. The Algolake followed it in last night to get fuel, and then had planned to go back under the bridge and to the anchorage to wait its turn at Midwest. Both boats had to move through the latest version of this year’s Duluth ice pack, this time in and just beyond the Duluth piers. After disappearing for several days, an east wind returned, not real strong but just enough to collect Western Lake Superior’s ice and deposit it at the Duluth piers. Neither boat had any trouble with the ice. It will be interesting to know if the Algolake went out and stayed in the ice pack last night, or decided to go to the open water beyond the ice just in case.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 4/10/2007

Charles M. Beeghly still the Beeghly

Great Lakes captains and their crews who are coming to Duluth today must be very patient people. Some of them have waited for good weather at the other end of the lake for up to 4 days. The weather cleared and they are all coming here today, give or take an hour or a day or so. The Algowood came in last night to replace the Mesabi Miner at the Midwest Energy Resources coal dock in Superior. The Canadian Olympic may have come in to take the next cargo, and 5 more boats may arrive today to load coal. Above, the Charles M. Beeghly arriving on Sunday to load taconite. The Beeghly was going to be renamed the Hon. James L. Oberstar this spring. The name was even painted on the hull, but the Congressman said no, and the old name was repainted on her hull.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 4/9/2007

Algolake delayed by high wind at the Soo

High winds are keeping a lot of boats away from the Twin Ports. Yesterday’s traffic has merged into today’s, and arrivals today are still not certain. Many boats have been anchored in Whitefish Bay on the other side of the Lake. The Alpena, scheduled to arrive yesterday, is still expected sometime today, as is the Mesabi Miner, making its first return trip since it broke open the ice for two boats stuck in it just off the Duluth piers. The Algolake has been anchored at DeTour, on the lower St. Mary’s River for 4 days. They have seen 20 foot seas. They hope to pull up their anchor this morning and head for the Twin Ports, arriving around 6 on Monday evening if the favorable weather forecast for Sunday and Monday holds. Of course, that may set up a race across the Lake and a lineup for a dock when they all get here.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 4/8/2007

Kaye E. Barker gets repairs at Fraser Shipyards

There may be only 2 boats under the Lift Bridge today, each one making its first visit to the Twin Ports this season. The Canadian Olympic will be here to load coal for Nanticoke, while the Presque Isle will be loading taconite for Gary. The Presque Isle was delayed for a while by weather at the other end of Lake Superior. The Kaye E. Barker spent the winter at Fraser Shipyard, with attention paid to her boilers. One of them exploded last year. It should have loaded coal and departed last night. It is the last to leave of the 11 boats that spent the winter in the Twin Ports. Above, it is just behind the Vista Star in a picture taken March 9th. The Star spent the winter at Fraser also.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 4/6/2007

Canadian Olympic here for coal

The American Integrity arrived Duluth on Wednesday morning to load coal for the Cleveland Cliffs power plant in Silver Bay. It should have departed late last night. It is expected back here today to load coal for the Detroit Edison power plant at St. Clair, Michigan, its usual destination. The James R. Barker also arrived yesterday to load coal. It will take that cargo a little further up the North Shore, discharging at the Minnesota Power plant in Taconite Harbor. It will stay on Lake Superior a little longer than the American Integrity, coming back here to load coal for We-Energies Presque Isle power plant at Marquette. The 730-foot Canadian Olympic should be slipping in to Midwest Energy Resources in Superior between the two 1,000-footers to get a cargo of coal for Ontario Power Generation in Nanticoke. Above, it is coming into Duluth to load coal on January 11th of this year.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 4/5/2007

Maritime Trader ceremony

Captain Jim Perkins brought his Canadian flagged Maritime Trader under the Aerial Bridge Tuesday morning a little after 7 am. He started his journey in Windsor, Ontario where the boat was laid up for the winter. He took a grain cargo to Quebec and then traveled the entire length of the St. Lawrence Seaway, in ballast, to become the first boat of the season to arrive in Duluth from the other end of the system. Of course, he was accused of bringing all the snow with him. Because of the snow, a planned ceremony on the boat was changed to the Port Terminal. Above, Bill Kron, the president of the Port Authority’s Board of Commissioners (left), presents Captain Perkins with a plaque highlighting his arrival in the Twin Ports as the first full passage boat of the season.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 4/4/2007

Maritime Trader, first from beyond the Soo

Today, we celebrate the last first of the new season. The Twin Ports path to the Atlantic Ocean and the worlds beyond is the St. Lawrence Seaway System. The Canadian flagged Maritime Trader will be here today after traveling the full length of that system. (Above, it is about to enter the Duluth ship canal last June.) It will be loading grain at the Cargill grain elevator in Duluth. There really still is one more first this season and that should be happening this weekend when the Rebecca arrives. It will be the first salt water ship of the season. Last year, we had 137 such ships and 130 the year before. Yesterday, after many days of strong east winds that compacted a fair amount of the ice at the western end of Lake Superior up against the Duluth shore line, the wind changed direction and blew the entire ice pack away from Duluth, not that it won’t come back yet again this season.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 4/3/2007 7:01:43 PM

Mesabi Miner helps with the ice breaking

On March 16, when the Mesabi Miner was at the same place it was yesterday morning, the Captain called the Coast Guard cutter Biscayne Bay to thank them for cutting a path through the ice so the Miner could continue on to Marquette with the first cargo of the new season. Sunday morning, the Captain of the CSL Assiniboine called Captain Tom McMullen on the Mesabi Miner to thank him for breaking open the path (above) so the Assiniboine (left) and the Quebecois (right) could break away from their own ice jams and continue on into the harbor. The Mesabi Miner was called upon (actually Captain McMullen volunteered) to do the ice breaking since the Alder was in for repairs and the nearest ice breaker was at the other end of Lake Superior. I do not think it was a sure thing; Captain McMullen was a hero yesterday.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 4/2/2007

Munson in ice

On Friday, the John G. Munson was waiting in the ice off the Duluth piers to move over to Two Harbors (above). There it was to load taconite as soon as the berth cleared. Sometime between then and Saturday afternoon, waiting in the ice changed to stopped in the ice. There was some hope that the Canadian flagged Quebecois, due Saturday afternoon, would come by on its way in and break up the ice near the Munson. Instead of breaking up the ice, the Quebecois got stopped in the ice also. The Quebecois is loaded with cement, which sounds like it would help break up ice but not so. They both will likely wait for Spring, or hope another boat can break up the ice. The Coast Guard had no plans as of Saturday evening to send any ice breakers here, in part because of the high winds. The Alder is down for repairs.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 4/1/2007