Archives for August 2007

Beluga Constitution greeted by friends

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The Beluga Constitution returned to Duluth yesterday (above) with the same cargo it brought here when it was here in July; wind turbine parts built in Spain and destined for a wind turbine farm in North Dakota. The Constitution was part of a big traffic day on Thursday, much of it coming in. That means today will be a high traffic day going out. Three salt water ships operated by Fednav in Montreal are in port and all three are expected to depart today. They are distinguished by their very red color. The BBC Finland is expected in today. It had three names before it ever got out of the shipyard, the last one being BBC Finland. Most BBC ships are owned by a company in Germany. This one is owned by a company in Italy and flies an Italian flag. If that isn’t enough, the Socrates will be here today, although it is now called the Ypermachos. There is even a boat in port today that will be loading coal and one loading taconite. Photo taken on August 30, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-31-2007

Spruceglen as Spruceglen in a pickle

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On August 29, 2002, the salt water ship Fraser failed to make the turn toward the Lift Bridge and went aground in front of the Paulucci Pavilion at Bayfront Park. Yesterday, exactly 5 years later, the same boat, now called the Spruceglen and flying a Canadian flag, had finished loading grain at the Cargill elevator in Duluth and was about to depart when they realized the boat, at midships, was sitting on the bottom of the slip. Happily, this year, local tugs were able to pull the boat off the bottom (above) fairly easily and after a short wait at the inner anchorage, it left Duluth early last night. Five years ago, local tugs pulled the boat off the bottom, but it took at least 4 tugs and all of the next day to do it. Photo taken on August 29, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-30-2007

CSL Tadoussac departing Duluth

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Bentonite, beans, coal, taconite, wheat and sand are a sampling of the menu today in the Port of Duluth Superior. We will have to wait for the Beluga Constitution to arrive later this week to add wind mills to the list. Eight vessels will be arriving, 5 under the Lift Bridge and 6 vessels will depart the Twin Ports today, 5 of them under the Lift Bridge. The Federal Mattawa will be making its first trip to the Twin Ports. It was built in China in 2005. The CSL Tadoussac will be here today to load taconite. Above, the freighter is departing Duluth in July, 2002.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-29-2007

Spruceglen as Fraser in a pickle

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The Spruceglen has two local claims to fame. At one time, it was named the Federal St. Louis, in honor of the river running between Duluth and Superior. Then there was the day, exactly 5 years ago tonight, when the ship, then called the Fraser, failed to make the turn to the Lift Bridge while trying to depart Duluth. It went aground just beyond Bayfront Park and the Paulucci Pavilion (above). The ship, now called the Spruceglen, should have arrived earlier this morning and is loading grain at the Cargill grain elevator in Duluth. Since Cargill is straight behind the Lift Bridge, the ship should be able depart without having to make the turn. Photo taken on August 29, 2002.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-28-2007

Algomarine in Twin Ports harbor

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Three US flagged thousand footers should be here today to load coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior. They will have to wait for the 730 foot, Canadian flagged Algomarine to finish up. It was due in shortly after midnight. Seldom seen in the Twin Ports, the Algomarine was just here one week ago. Since 2002, it has only visited here once earlier this year, and once last year. The Walter J. McCarthy Jr. should closely follow the Algomarine into port and will have to wait for the berth. The McCarthy will likely wait on the Algomarine again when it gets to Ontario Power Generation later this week. That is also the destination for the Algomarine. It was built in 1968 as the Lake Manitoba. The McCarthy was built as the Belle River in 1977. Above, the Algomarine departs Duluth last July.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-27-2007

Block arrives to large crowd

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All hands were on deck and waving as the Joseph L. Block came into port around 6:30 on Saturday evening (above). The 728 foot freighter brought limestone to the CN dock in West Duluth. When they complete discharging that cargo, they will move next door to the Hallett Dock to begin loading taconite by-product. Then they will go to the Two Harbors CN dock to complete loading taconite, departing Duluth about the same time they came in last night. Photo taken on August 25, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-26-2007

Beluga Elegance unloading

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The German owned Beluga Elegance came into port Thursday morning at 8:45 with a cargo of wind turbine base units and nacelles. A sister ship, the Beluga Expectation, brought a similar cargo here a couple weeks ago, and another sister, the Beluga Constitution, will be here next week with more wind turbine parts. All of these pieces were loaded at the Spanish port of Bilbao. The parts will be taken to the Tatanka wind farm in McPherson County in South Dakota. Photo taken on August 24, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-25-2007

Manistee makes rare visit to Duluth

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The American flagged and Canadian owned Manistee was expected in port late last night. It should now be discharging a cargo of salt at the Hallett 8 dock in Superior. When it completes that job, it will move across the St. Louis River to the CN dock in West Duluth to load sinter. The Manistee started life as a US freighter built in 1943 called the Richard J. Reiss. The Reiss was not often in Duluth, not at all between 1996 and 2005. In January, 2004, the Reiss was sold to a Canadian company, Lower Lakes Towing, although it is operated by a US subsidiary. As the Manistee, the boat finally made it to Duluth in September, 2005 (above). It was here 3 times in 2006; this is the first trip this season.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-24-2007

Presque Isle honors first Captain

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The Presque Isle came into port last night. It was greeted by an armada of sailboats (above). That is fitting since the boat gave a Captain’s salute as it came in, 3 long and 2 short whistles. The Lift Bridge answered the same back, in honor of Captain Bill Jeffery who died in Duluth on July 29. He was in New Orleans in 1972 when the tug Presque Isle was built. He sailed the tug out into the Atlantic Ocean, up to the St. Lawrence Seaway and down to Erie, Pennsylvania. There it was joined with the barge named Presque Isle to form the new thousand-foot vessel named the Presque Isle. Then he climbed aboard the new boat and served as her captain until he retired 15 years later. Bill was born in Duluth, got married in Duluth, and with his wife, Kathryn, raised 3 children in Duluth. It was nice to hear the vessel give a final salute to its first captain as it entered the ship canal last night and for Duluth to answer back. Photo taken August 22, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-23-2007

St. Clair ready to depart Duluth

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Most of the thousand footers that come to the Twin Ports load coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior. There have been days recently when one was loading at the dock, another one was in port waiting and a third thousand footer either was in port waiting or not far out in the lake. Today, however, the coal dock has a very busy schedule but it is ‘smaller boat day.’ No thousand footers will be there; 5 ‘less than thousand foot boats’ will be. Four are Canadian lakers; one is the US flagged St. Clair. Being smaller, there will be more traffic since the smaller boats will load faster than the thousand footers. The John B. Aird slipped into port last night, creeping very slowly through the fog. It started the day, probably leaving very early this morning. It was likely replaced by the St. Clair, seen above departing Duluth in May of 2004.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-22-2007

Federal Hunter

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The Federal Hunter came into the inner anchorage on Monday afternoon (left). It was making its turn up the channel while the Alpena (at the right) was waiting to depart as soon as the Federal Hunter cleared. It was a two ship lift for the bridge, a treat for the visitors at the Maritime Museum and a long wait for those in cars waiting for the two ships. A little later, the Federal Hunter came back under the bridge and went to the outer anchorage to wait for the Pintail to complete loading grain at the CHS terminal in Superior. Photo taken on August 20, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-21-2007

Isa and the big waves

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Despite an east wind with gusts up to 32 mph on Sunday, the Polish owned Isa came into Duluth last night (above), seeming to have no trouble with the vigorous wave action all around it. It is now at the AGP elevator in Duluth loading soy beans and wheat for Northern Europe. Both the Pintail and the Algomarine should have arrived by first light. Photo taken on August 19, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-20-2007

Indiana Harbor arriving for coal

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The Indiana Harbor will be here today to load a cargo of coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior for Consumers Energy’s Cobb power plant at Muskegon, Michigan. It should follow the American Integrity at the coal dock this afternoon. It will be back here on Friday to load coal for its usual destination, Detroit Edison power plants at St. Clair, Michigan. Above, the Indiana Harbor is arriving in Duluth in October, 2005.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-19-2007

BBC Russia at anchor in harbor

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A couple weeks ago, the Beluga Constitution was at the inner anchorage on a beautiful summer evening. It attracted a crowd of boats trying to get a closer look. Ships in the anchorage are usually positioned with their side facing downtown Duluth and Skyline Drive, as the BBC Russia was last night (above). It sat there basking in the sun while waiting for the Sandviken to complete loading grain at the CHS terminal in Superior. The Sandviken finished around 6 pm last night and departed Duluth, leaving the berth open for the BBC Russia. Photo taken on August 17, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-18-2007

Sandviken enters Duluth ship canal

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The Redhead, built in China in 2005, and here for the second time this year, probably departed last night. That left the berth at AGP in Duluth available for the Zeus, which should have arrived early this morning. It has been here 7 other times, including twice in 2000, the year it was built. The BBC Russia, built in 2003, will be here for the 2nd time since then. It will be loading grain at the CHS terminal in Superior, coming in after the Sandviken, there now, departs. Above, the Sandviken is coming into port in August, 2001.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-17-2007

Adam E. Cornelius draws a crowd

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There is interesting traffic today. How about a ship named Zeus and one named Redhead? We have that today. The Redhead has been loading grain at the AGP elevator in Duluth. When it finishes perhaps this evening and departs, Zeus will come in to load grain at the same terminal. The Adam E. Cornelius played to a large crowd down at the ship canal when it came in late Wednesday afternoon with limestone (above). Otherwise, one other boat is bringing in limestone, one calcium chloride and two thousand footers will be here to load coal. Probably late last night, the tug Gregory J. Busch departed Duluth with wind turbine base units brought down here from North Dakota by truck. The tug barge is taking them to Buffalo where they will then go by truck to wind farms in Upper New York State. Photo taken on August 15, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-16-2007

Mesabi Miner falls behind

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The salt water vessel Redhead will be back today for its 2nd trip here this season. It is loading grain at AGP in Duluth. The American Victory should be back today from a quick trip to Ashland to deliver coal. In the picture above, taken on Tuesday afternoon, it almost looked like a race to Midwest Energy, with the American Century, seen at the far left making the turn up the St. Louis River, the winner while the Mesabi Miner slowly pulls up to its second place resting spot at the Port Terminal. They were expected to meet again shortly after midnight when the Century would be leaving with coal while the Miner would be taking its place at Midwest Energy. Photo taken on August 14, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-15-2007

American Victory turns in harbor

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The American Victory will be here today to load coal for Xcel Energy in Ashland. It will then move up to Silver Bay to load taconite for Ashtabula. It visited here many times as the Middletown but became the American Victory when it was sold by Oglebay Norton to American Steamship last Spring. Above, it is entering the Duluth ship canal in June, last year, just after receiving the new name. The boat retains the same colors it sailed with when owned by Oglebay Norton. However, the stack has been repainted to reflect the new owners.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-14-2007

American Mariner departs to the blues

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Fiona Boyes and the Fortune Tellers made it to the Bayfront Blues Festival stage on Sunday afternoon in time to sing to the Beluga Expectation leaving for Spain with wind turbine blades and the American Mariner departing with coal for Milwaukee. Above, she serenades the American Mariner. Photo taken on August 12, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-13-2007

Algolake comes to the Fest

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The Algolake came under the Lift Bridge on Saturday afternoon, in time for the mid afternoon set by Ross William Perry (above, left) at the Bayfront Blues Festival. The Algolake will be loading coal but probably didn’t leave until after the music was over. Longshoremen at the Port Terminal finished discharging wind turbine parts from the Beluga Expectation on Saturday and began to load the wind turbine blades that the ship will be taking back to Europe, possibly leaving this afternoon.The ship will have 5 of the 25 blades it is taking to Spain on the deck for all to see. That should be a nice addition to the Blues Festival. Photo taken on August 11, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-12-2007

Federal Ems and Blues Fest

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Roxanne Potvin (above) was the only member of the Blues Caravan Women that made it to the Bayfront Blues Festival on Friday afternoon but she put on a great show for the crowd. Of course, she was backed up nicely by the beautiful Federal Ems moving slowly to the Lift Bridge on her way to Morocco with a cargo of wheat. Her Polish and Indian crew had just finished loading it at the CHS grain terminal in Superior. They should arrive in Morocco on the 23rd of August. Photo taken on August 10, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-11-2007

North Dakota helps Gadwall

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The Gadwall arrived last night for the second time this year. After coming under the Lift Bridge, the tug North Dakota gave it an assist as it made the turn into the harbor and then to the berth at AGP (above). The Birchglen sailed in shortly after the Gadwall, on its way to load grain at the Cargill elevator in Duluth, just next to AGP. This may be the single most diverse ship we see here. It does a little of everything. Some years ago, it loaded coal here and took it out the Seaway and down the Atlantic Coast to Belledune, a small port in the province of New Brunswick, just north of Maine. Once, it loaded taconite pellets here that it took to China. It was built in Scotland as the Canada Marquis, it has sailed as the Federal Richelieu and has been here many times as the Federal Mackenzie and even just Mackenzie. Both ships are loading grain. The Birchglen may depart this evening. Photo taken on August 09, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-10-2007

Bayfront Blues Festival August 9-12, 2007

Friday, August 10, 2007
Lamont Cranston Band
Lamont Cranston Band
Lamont Cranston Band
Lamont Cranston Band
Lamont Cranston Band
Lamont Cranston Band
Lamont Cranston Band
Mighty Lester
Mighty Lester
Mighty Lester
Mighty Lester
Mighty Lester
Mighty Lester
Mighty Lester
Mighty Lester
Mighty Lester
Mighty Lester
Mighty Lester
Mighty Lester
Mighty Lester
Mighty Lester
Mighty Lester
Mighty Lester
Mighty Lester
Tommy Castro
Tommy Castro
Tommy Castro
Tommy Castro
Ian Parker
Ian Parker
Ian Parker
… as the salt water ship Vanessa C comes under the Lift Bridge
Ian Parker
Ian Parker and Vanessa C
Ian Parker and Vanessa C
Ian Parker and the Federal Ems
Ian Parker and the Federal Ems
Ian Parker and the Federal Ems
Although Roxanne Potvin didn’t have her usual side kick Deborah Coleman with her (she had connecting flight troubles), Roxanne’s part of the Blues Caravan Women was a hit, and of course, the departing Federal Ems played a nice second fiddle to her guitar.
Roxanne Potvin
Roxanne Potvin … Ian Parker came back to join Roxanne on stage
Roxanne Potvin
Roxanne Potvin
Irma Thomas closed the show on Friday night
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Saturday, August 11, 2007
Ross William Perry
Ross William Perry
Ross William Perry
Ross William Perry
Ross William Perry
Ross William Perry
Ross William Perry
Ross William Perry
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Big John Dickerson and friends
Big John Dickerson
Big John Dickerson
Big John Dickerson
Big John Dickerson
Big John Dickerson
Big John Dickerson
Big John Dickerson
Fiona Boyes and the Fortune Tellers
Fiona Boyes and the Fortune Tellers at Duluth Bayfront Blues Festival
Fiona Boyes and the Fortune Tellers at Duluth Bayfront Blues Festival
Fiona Boyes and the Fortune Tellers at Duluth Bayfront Blues Festival
Fiona Boyes and the Fortune Tellers at Duluth Bayfront Blues Festival
Fiona Boyes and the Fortune Tellers at Duluth Bayfront Blues Festival
Fiona Boyes and the Fortune Tellers at Duluth Bayfront Blues Festival
Chris Cain
Chris Cain at Duluth Bayfront Blues Festival
Booker T & the MG’s
Booker T & the MG's at Duluth Bayfront Blues Festival
That’s Anton Fig sitting in on the drums; he the longtime stickman on the David Letterman show
Booker T & the MG's at Duluth Bayfront Blues Festival
Booker T & the MG's at Duluth Bayfront Blues Festival

Algocape enters Duluth ship canal

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The Algocape arrived on Wednesday afternoon (above) on its first visit of the season. It went over to the CN dock to load taconite, not its usual cargo. In the 5 or so visits the boat makes to the Twin Ports each year, it more often discharges cement or loads grain. Wind turbines are moving again in Duluth, in both directions. The Beluga Expectation arrived on Wednesday afternoon with wind turbine base units, hubs and nacelles. After discharging that, it will load blades for Spain. The tug Gregory J. Busch is still loading base units here for Buffalo. The Chinese operated and crewed Gadwall will be arriving here for its second visit of the year to load spring wheat for Spain. Photo taken on August 08, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-09-2007

Beluga Expectation tethered

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The owners of cargo ships don’t make money when they sail their ships empty. They lose money since they have to pay expenses and lose revenue. They prefer their ships holding cargo. For Duluth, they want their ship to arrive here with a cargo, discharge it, then load another cargo and depart. When it does happen here, it is usually some general cargo such as steel that comes in and then grain that goes out. With grain exports down, it is harder to find that downbound cargo and that makes the trip up here more expensive since the ship would be leaving here empty. A more expensive trip up means fewer ships will get here. Like most other parts of the economy, lower cost means more business. Wind turbines have come to the rescue, both ways. The Beluga Constitution was here a couple weeks ago, bringing wind turbine parts in and loading other wind turbine parts to take out. The Beluga Expectation should be here around noon to do the same thing. Both boats loaded wind turbine parts in Bilbao, Spain and they both will be taking other wind turbine parts back to the same port. Above, the Beluga Expectation at the Port Terminal in June. Photo taken on June 24, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-08-2007

Victoria framed by Aerial Lift Bridge

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The salt water ship Victoria has been at anchor off the Duluth piers for several days. It finally came in last night to load grain at the busy CHS grain terminal in Superior. Above, it appears to sit inside the Aerial Lift Bridge in a picture taken Monday morning. Midwest Energy Resources in Superior is also a very busy place. Morning light may find the Canadian Enterprise at the outside anchorage waiting for the Mesabi Miner to finish. The John B. Aird should also be in the neighborhood, waiting for the Canadian Enterprise to finish at Midwest. Waiting boats may also have slowed down out in the lake rather than arriving here and then waiting, or they may have come in to wait at the Port Terminal or in the St. Louis River for a bit. Photo taken on August 06, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-06-2007

Roger Blough at last winter’s layup

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After loading taconite in Two Harbors last week and taking it to Conneaut, Ohio, the Roger Blough came back last night to load more taconite, this time at the CN dock in West Duluth. The Blough will also take that cargo to Conneaut. The Blough has a unique 54 foot self unloader that extends from either side of the stern section of the hull. It was built originally to discharge taconite at Gary, South Chicago and Conneaut. Most of the trips the Blough has made to the lower lakes this season have been to Conneaut, with a few to Gary. This is only the third trip the boat has made to the Twin Ports this season. It spent the winter layup in Duluth, as it has for some years. Above, it sits at the Port Terminal in March, 2006 while in layup.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-06-2007

Maritime Trader in all her blue glory

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The parade at the CHS grain terminal in Superior continues. On Wednesday evening, the Isolda was there loading grain. As it was departing on Friday afternoon, it passed the Canadian Provider coming to to take her place at CHS. Saturday evening, the Maritime Trader came into port (above) and shortly after that, the Canadian Provider departed the dock, making way for the Trader to take her place. The Maritime Trader had been at anchor while waiting for the dock to clear. It is a beautiful boat, newly painted in the bright blue colors of Voyageur Maritime Trading, who recently purchased the boat before it might have been sent to the scrap pile. At the time, in 2005, it was sitting at a dock in Goderich as a storage bin for some grain. Photo taken on August 04, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-05-2007

Canadian Provider and Isolda meet

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The salt water vessel Isolda came into port on Wednesday evening to load grain at the CHS terminal in Superior. It completed loading on Friday afternoon and began its short journey to the Lift Bridge in Duluth. At the same time, the next customer for CHS, the Canadian Provider, was coming under the Lift Bridge on its way to CHS to load wheat. They passed each other at the Port Terminal (above). The Provider (foreground) is getting an assist from the Great Lakes tug North Dakota while the newer Isolda passes them by (background). Photo taken on August 03, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-04-2007

Vessel has identity crisis: American Integrity / Oglebay Norton

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The American Integrity will be here today for the 21st time this year. On all of the visits, including today, it has loaded coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior. Most of the time, it takes it to Detroit Edison power plants in St. Clair, Michigan. Detroit Edison also owns Midwest Energy Resources and receives much of the coal loaded there, but significant amounts are shipped to several ports on Lake Superior, and to Nanticoke, Ontario. Alone, the Detroit Edison Company receives about 9 million tons of coal per year through the terminal. As today, the American Integrity usually loads about 62,000 tons of the low sulfur coal brought here by train from mines in Montana and Wyoming. Above, it is arriving in Duluth in July, 2005 when it was called the Oglebay Norton. Since June of last year, it has been the American Integrity.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-03-2007

Herbert C. Jackson brings ice

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The Herbert C. Jackson is expected under the Lift Bridge around 6 am. It is bringing a cargo of limestone to the Northland Stone dock and will then move up the St. Louis River to discharge a cargo of sand at the Hallett 8 dock in Superior. Once that is complete, it will move next door to the Midwest Energy Resources coal dock to load about 18,500 tons of coal for the Shiras Steam Plant, operated by the Marquette Board of Light and Power in Marquette, Michigan. Above, the Jackson pushes the ice away as it comes through the Duluth ship canal on December 12, 2005.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-02-2007

Michipicoten arriving Duluth

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The Canadian flagged Michipicoten will be here to load taconite at the Burlington Northern Dock in Superior. Normally, that would mean the boat would be coming in the Superior entry, but the Michipicoten will be getting fuel at the Murphy Fuel Dock at the Port Terminal, so it will come in the Duluth entry, although that will probably be in the very early morning. It is the 5th visit to the Twin Ports this year. The Michipicoten is the former US flagged Elton Hoyt 2nd. As the Hoyt, it sat idle in Superior from 2000 until 2003 when it was purchased by Lower Lakes Towing. They changed the flag from US to Canadian and renamed it the Michipicoten after the river in Ontario that eventually empties into Lake Superior. The name means "big bluffs" in Ojibwe and refers to the large hills located near the river’s mouth. Photo taken January 12, 2004.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 07-31-2007