Archives for October 2007

Canadian Prospector

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The bulk freighter Canadian Prospector came into port on Monday morning to load grain. It has been here 36 times since 1996 but the last visit was in October of 2004. It was built in 1964 as an ocean going freighter named Carlton and was lengthened in 1968 by 80 feet and renamed St. Lawrence Prospector. It was lengthened again in 1979 by 88 feet and given its current name. It is now 730 feet long. Above, the vessel is departing Duluth in July, 2002. [Canadian Prospector was scrapped in 2010.]
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-31-2007

Earl W. Oglebay in Silver Bay

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The Earl W. Oglebay should be here today to load sinter at the CN dock in West Duluth. Last August, the ship was sold by Oglebay Norton to Wisconsin and Michigan Steamship Company in Lakewood, Ohio. Most of the other boats that Oglebay Norton sold received a new name immediately. A note on the web says that the Oglebay part of this boat’s name was painted over last winter. If nothing else was added, it may be sailing in here as the Earl W. or at least the paint job may say that. Above, the Earl W. Oglebay is at the dock in Silver Bay the day after Christmas in 2002. The picture was taken from the deck of the Oglebay Norton, now called the American Integrity. It is departing Silver Bay after discharging coal it brought up the day before and returning to Duluth to load more coal. Photo taken on December 25, 2002.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-30-2007

Vista King visits 2 mature ladies

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Yesterday was one of the last days of summer. The Vista Fleet was out in the harbor for their final cruises this season. Captain Amanda Porter (above) was at the wheel of the Vista King late Sunday afternoon, positioning the boat so her passengers could get a better look as the Alpena was discharging cement at the Lafarge dock in Superior. The Alpena is on the outside, next to the J.A.W. Iglehart. The Iglehart is in long term layup at the dock. In past years, it visited Duluth 4 or 5 times a year. This was the Alpena’s 14th visit of the season, discharging cement on every trip. Photo taken on October 28, 2007. [The Vista King is no longer in service in Duluth.]
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-29-2007

Jumbo Spirit gets frequent sailing miles

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The Jumbo Spirit loaded a reactor vessel in Japan and came directly to Duluth to discharge it. That is the cylinder on the right side in the picture above looking into the ship’s hold. The object at the left, a transformer, was to be discharged in Toledo, a port they passed right by on the way here. The shipper (who pays the freight) for the reactor vessel wanted the trip to be direct to Duluth with no stops for any other cargo. As you can see, the transformers (there is another one, part of which is seen at the top left) could have easily been lifted out of the ship’s hold in Toledo on the way up. It would not have been a problem to discharge the transformers on the way back either except the ship also had to load wind turbine blades in Duluth. They would need the entire cargo hold for that. So the ship left for Toledo Saturday after discharging the reactor vessel here on Friday. They will return in about a week with an empty cargo hold ready for the wind turbine blades. Duluth to Toledo to Duluth is a trip of over 1,500 miles. Photo taken on October 27, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-28-2007

CG does Jumbo inspection

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Jumbo Spirit captain Remko DeGreef (left) conferred with local Coast Guard MST 3rd class Robert Beeren (right) in the pilot house of the ship on Friday morning. (MST – Marine Science Technician). The Coast Guard was on board to conduct an extensive inspection of the ship’s major systems. This was the last job on the ship for the captain on this trip. A relief captain arrived in Duluth on Thursday evening. DeGreef flew home last night. The ship discharged equipment destined for an oil sands project in Alberta. They will depart the port today to deliver more heavy cargo in Toledo before returning to the Twin Ports to load wind turbine blades, another very unusual sequence for a salt water ship in the Great Lakes. Photo taken on October 26, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-27-2007

Federal Hudson taking wheat out

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The salt water ship Federal Hudson departed Duluth last night just as the sun was setting behind it (above). It loaded durum wheat here and will be taking that cargo to Canada, Port-Cartier, Quebec specifically. Salt water ships almost always get to the Atlantic Ocean when they depart Duluth, but Port-Cartier is still in the Gulf of St. Lawrence which opens into the Atlantic. Normally, Canadian lakers take grain to Port-Cartier and other ports above Montreal. The grain is then transferred to a salt water ship destined for Europe or Africa in most cases. Canadian lakers turn around and return to a Great Lakes port such as Duluth to pick up more or another cargo. The durum wheat that the Federal Hudson is discharging will be picked up later this season by two other Fednav ships to top off their holds before leaving for Europe.The Federal Hudson will likely get another cargo, probably grain, at another port nearby and probably take it to Europe. This does not happen very often and is likely due to a very busy season in the Great Lakes. Photo taken on October 25, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-26-2007

American Fortitude still busy

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If you like variety, the American Fortitude is the boat to be on. It carries a wide variety of cargos to a wide variety of ports. It will be here today discharging limestone it loaded in Port Inland, Michigan. It may then load coal for Ashland and then go to Silver Bay to load taconite or it may go directly to Silver Bay after it completes discharging the limestone. You get a measure of unpredictability on the American Fortitude as well. Formerly the Courtney Burton, the boat is only making its 9th appearance here this season. Last year, it was here 24 times. On most of those trips, it loaded wheat for General Mills in Buffalo. Above, as the Courtney Burton, it is departing Duluth in August, 2002.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-25-2007

Presque Isle arriving Twin Ports

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Three vessels are expected to arrive in the Twin Ports today, five will depart. One of them, the Presque Isle, will do both. It is here after delivering Two Harbors taconite to Gary, Indiana. On this trip, it will load taconite at the CN dock in West Duluth to take to Nanticoke, Ontario. This is the 17th trip the Presque Isle, a 1,000-foot long tug barge combination, has made to the Twin Ports this season. It was here 16 times last year. Above, it is coming into the Duluth entry last July 28th. Photo taken on July 28, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-24-2007

Federal Hudson is big and red

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The Federal St. Laurent came under the Lift Bridge on Sunday afternoon to load grain at the CHS terminal in Superior. This is the 11th trip here since it arrived on June 6, 1996 as a brand new, bright red ship. It is still red but with saltwater, locks and docks working away on it over the last 10 years, the bright is probably gone. The Federal Hudson is expected to arrive today for the 6th trip since it was built in 2000. Both are owned by the Fednav Group in Montreal. The Federal Hudson, like most Fednav ships, is also bright red. It has 9 sister ships in the fleet that are nearly identical. The Federal St. Laurent was built in China; the Hudson in Japan. Above, the Federal Hudson is seen arriving in Duluth in 2002 on its second trip to the Twin Ports , also its second trip here in that year.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-23-2007

Beluga Efficiency unloads

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Today is a day for 1,000 foot lakers and the salt water vessel Beluga Efficiency. The saltie came in with wind turbine parts on October 14th but then had to wait at the Port Terminal before it could move over to the AGP elevator next door to load grain. It is expected to complete loading later today and then depart the port. Above, it is at the Port Terminal on October 15th discharging wind turbines. The American Century and the Paul R. Tregurtha were expected here very early this morning. Both will be loading coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior. The Tregurtha, the largest boat on the Great Lakes, will be making a short trip up the North Shore to deliver the coal to Minnesota Power at Taconite Harbor. It will return mid-week to load coal for its usual destination, Detroit Edison. Photo taken on October 15, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-22-2007

Arthur M. Anderson arriving Duluth

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Boats on Lake Superior took refuge during the recent storm, some in Whitefish Bay, others off the Keweenaw. Today, some of them should be back in service. Two of them, the Arthur M. Anderson (above, arriving Duluth in 2002) and the Cason J. Callaway, are expected here with cargo to discharge. The Halifax arrived here on Thursday morning to load bentonite, but loading was delayed by the heavy rain. When wet, bentonite is very mucky so it is not loaded in the rain. However, it sits outside in a big pile before being loaded. One would think it would be a mess after a rainstorm, but it has a peculiar reaction to water. When the outside of the pile gets wet, the bentonite expands and forms a crust around the whole pile about 2 inches thick. The pile of bentonite maintains or protects itself in the rain, a very nice property to the workers at the Hallett Dock. That characteristic also makes it valuable in situations where a sealant or an impermeable barrier is needed such as the bottom of a landfill so that waste material does not get into the soil. When the rain went away, the heavy equipment at the Hallett Dock dug into the pile. The outer crust was easily broken up and the sand-like material was loaded onto a conveyor belt going into the ship’s cargo hold. The Halifax finally departed Duluth last night.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-21-2007

BBC Elbe first visit to Duluth

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After several days at anchor, the BBC Elbe came into port on Friday afternoon (above) to load grain. Built in 2006, it is making its first trip to Duluth. The ship is owned by BBC Chartering & Logistic in Leer, Germany. This year, they also brought the BBC Finland, BBC Italy, BBC Mexico, BBC Mississippi, BBC Plata and the BBC Russia to the Twin Ports. There are 7 sister ships, built almost exactly alike. The BBC Mississippi, here in early July, is one of them. Another is the BBC Weser. The Federal Weser was just here, from another company. It was named after the Weser River in the north west corner of Germany. I assume the BBC Weser is also named for the river. Photo taken on October 19, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-20-2007

St. Clair in the rain

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The St. Clair arrived under the Lift Bridge early Thursday afternoon to load taconite. The storm was only just beginning to ease up but a good group was still out to say hello as it went by. The Federal Weser has been here since Monday afternoon trying to load flax, spring wheat and soy beans for Antwerp, Belgium. The weather has not been kind and today is still not supposed to be good grain loading weather (meaning dry) but they will try to get it down between the rain drops. Photo taken on October 18, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-19-2007

Halifax makes trail through ice

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There is significant boat traffic scheduled for today but the weather may be more significant. High winds could effect all shipping activity in the port. Coal and taconite can be loaded in rain, but sometimes equipment cannot be operated in high winds and they can make it difficult to tie up to a dock. Salt water ships will have trouble loading grain. That doesn’t happen in the rain. The Whistler got out last night with a cargo of grain, but the Federal Weser, Kamenitza and the BBC Elbe will probably be delayed. The Beluga Efficiency has been discharging wind turbine parts before loading grain. Neither activity goes well in high wind. The Halifax was expected earlier this morning. Above, it is coming into port last March, not at all bothered by the cold weather and ice. Photo taken on March 24, 2007. [Halifax was scrapped in 2011.]
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-18-2007

Federal Weser arrives with a splash

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The Federal Weser blew into town on Monday afternoon (above). Built in China in 2002, it is making its 7th visit to the Twin Ports, the last one in October, 2005. It is currently loading spring wheat, soy beans and flax for Antwerp, Belgium. If not delayed by weather, it is expected to leave late tonight. Like many Fednav ships, the Federal Weser is named for a river, this one in West Germany. Also like many Fednav ships, it is painted bright red. Photo taken on October 15, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-17-2007

Coast Guard training fun?

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The answer to the question: When does the Coast Guard learn how to manage a boat in heavy weather? is, When the weather is heavy. Yesterday was such a day, with waves up to 8 feet off the Duluth piers. Coast Guard station Duluth had their 47 foot motor life boat out in the waves for about two hours on Monday afternoon (above). If the weather is just as bad or worse today, they will be out there again. It is a good time to get new personnel into the swing of things. Yesterday’s crew was as new to Duluth as 4 months; others have been here over 3 years. All crew are tied down to the boat which is designed to right itself if it goes under. You just need to hold your breath and wait and the boat will bring you back up, I am told. Photo taken on October 15, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-16-2007

American Fortitude a busy boat

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The American Fortitude will be here today for the 8th time this season. It was here 24 times last year. It is traveling a familiar pattern, loading limestone in Michigan, in this case Port Inland, and bringing it to Superior for discharge, then going to Silver Bay to load taconite pellets for the Cleveland Bulk terminal at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. It also brings taconite from Silver Bay to Ashtabula, and occasionally to Indiana Harbor. The bulk terminal at Cleveland provides taconite for the Mittal Steel Plant up the river. Since the Fortitude is small and nimble, it sometimes becomes a riverboat and takes the taconite directly to the steel plant. Above, we see it coming into Duluth last November.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-15-2007

Tug pulls tug

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The tug Anna Marie Altman pulled the tug Lake Superior away from its moorings in front of the William A. Irvin and beside the Sundew on Saturday. Gone with the tug is the ice cream the DECC sold from a window on the tug. The Lake Superior has been sold and will not be coming back for another ice cream season. Happily, the DECC also owns the Sundew. It has not been called back into service yet and will be ready to take over ice cream duties down by the Minnesota Slip Bridge next summer. Not a bad job for an old ice breaker. Photo taken on October 13, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-14-2007

Hey, this is a cool spot!

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Some visitors to the ship canal on Friday night decided to make their own inspection of the bridge after watching the Great Lakes Trader come into port. The official inspectors, sent here by the state to make sure our bridge is in good shape, completed their work on Friday so the bridge is back to normal, lifting for ship traffic 24-7. One of them should be the Whistler, another ship named after a duck. It will be here late today and will follow the Canadian Enterprise loading grain at CHS in Superior. The Whistler, the duck, sounds like it is whistling when it beats its wings. Whistler, the ship, is a brand new vessel, making its first appearance in the Twin Ports. Photo taken on October 12, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-13-2007

Canadian Enterprise, lighthouse, bridge

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Day one of the Aerial Bridge check up has completed. Two boats made it under the bridge before it closed to ship traffic yesterday. The Paul R. Tregurtha departed at 6:20 in the morning and the American Spirit came in at 6:35. The Duluth entry should see only two boats today, both coming after the bridge inspection is completed. The Great Lakes Trader and the Joseph L. Block should both be arriving around dinner time today. Only one normal Duluth customer should be departing Superior: that would be the Canadian Enterprise. It almost always loads coal here but today it will load grain. Above, it is coming in under the Lift Bridge in January, 2003. The Beluga Elegance was here in late August with wind turbine parts but will be back today to also load grain.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-12-2007

Aerial view of Superior entry

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Unfortunately, the big news for Duluth boat watchers today is not good. The Aerial Lift Bridge will not be raised between the hours of 8 am and 4 pm today, tomorrow and next Monday and Tuesday. That is a little harder to take since it is getting dark later in the morning and earlier in the afternoon. This is happening because the State has mandated bridge inspections around the state in the aftermath of the I-35 bridge collapse in Minneapolis. Of course, this is good news to Superior boat watchers who have more reason than usual to venture out to the Superior piers. Above, you are looking in through the Superior entry from Lake Superior in a picture taken last May 17, 2007. The Wisconsin Point Lighthouse is at the lower left at the end of the pier and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Taconite Facility is top left.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-11-2007

Herbert C. Jackson draws a crowd

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All roads lead to Nanticoke, Ontario, at least for three boats we expect to be here today. The Edwin H. Gott will be here to load taconite for Nanticoke, and both the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. and the Algolake are expected this morning to load coal for there also. All three should be able to complete loading their cargo and depart later today. When they are done, the Paul R. Tregurtha, the third thousand footer of the day, will load coal for Detroit Edison. It won’t depart until Thursday. Somewhere in this mix, the Herbert C. Jackson will try to load some coal for Marquette.  Photo taken on July 15, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-10-2007

Mesabi Miner arrives with waves

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There was a nice parade of ship traffic on Monday afternoon. The Mesabi Miner appeared on the horizon and in a very brief moment of sunlight, the Ziemia Lodzka could be seen behind it. The Miner came under the Lift Bridge at 2:50 and was followed by the Ziemia Lodzka at 3:20. High winds made the going a little tricky, but they brought out a few more people than usual, as you will note above as the Mesabi Miner entered the ship canal. Ten minutes later, the John G. Munson came under the bridge. You will see the Ziemia Lodzka at anchor this morning as it was only coming in to the inner anchorage to handle some routine business regarding customs and cargo loading plans. It went back out a little before 5 in the afternoon. Photo taken on October 08, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-09-2007

Ziemia Lodzka at anchor

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Four salt water ships are expected to arrive in the Twin Ports today, with at least one, the Ziemia Lodzka, going to anchor. The BBC Russia and the Nogat will be here for the 2nd time this season; the Gadwall will be making its 3rd visit of the year. The Ziemia Lodzka is making its 1st trip here this season, it made 4 trips here in 2005. Above, it is at anchor on the 4th of July in 2005. It was built in 1992 in Turkey but became the Lake Champlain before leaving the shipyard. In 2003, it went back to being the Ziemia Lodzka.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-08-2007

Quebecois departs Duluth

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The weather has not been too great and won’t be. It has a varied effect on the business of loading and unloading cargo. We have 2 boats discharging cement here this weekend. The Alpena, a regular visitor her, has a completely internal discharging system, much like a tanker. Bad weather doesn’t effect the process much at all. Over at St. Lawrence Cement, they were delayed discharging the Quebecois (seen above on a previous visit) for a while on Friday by rain. It is not too hard to figure why. They can discharge with a light drizzle, but they close the cargo holds and wait out anything heavier. They use an auger system over there that gets the cement from inside the cargo hold where high winds don’t have much effect. Grain loading is stopped for rain and sometimes for high winds. And coal and taconite wait for nothing. Rain, snow and ice doesn’t stop them much, it just gets a little uncomfortable sometimes. Photo taken June 25, 2002.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-07-2007

Alpena arrives Duluth with cement

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Eleven boats are expected to come under the Lift Bridge today. If the lineup didn’t change, 5 of them have already come or gone. Of the 11, the James R. Barker counts twice since it should be here around 4 am to load coal for Marquette, Michigan and should be departing under the Bridge early evening. In a very strange occurrence, a ship named the BBC Italy will be making its first trip to the Twin Ports to load grain for Italy! The BBC Russia is expected on Monday and will not be taking anything to Russia. Despite the fact that the Alpena always brings in cement, it one of the prettiest and most popular boats that visit Duluth. Above, Alpena fans greet the boat on September 3rd of this year. Photo taken on September 03, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-06-2007

Vossborg ends chromium ore shuttle

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Late Thursday evening, the Dutch operated Vossborg departed Duluth (above) with the last of the chromium ore that has been piled up at the Hallett Dock in West Duluth. It originally was stockpiled in Montana during the Second World War but was never needed. A company in Sweden purchased the pile and has been slowly moving it from Duluth to Sweden for several years. Today, four thousand footers are back to load our taconite and coal for lower lakes ports. Photo taken on October 04, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-05-2007

Beluga Formation and cranes

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At 6:30 Tuesday morning, longshoremen were already getting their cranes in position at the Port Terminal for the day’s work (above), completing the discharge of wind turbine parts from the Beluga Formation. They were hoping to complete that job by 11 last night. Yesterday was thousand footer day. You will have to get up early today to see one in the Twin Ports. The American Integrity arrived last night around 7 pm and should be departing before the sun comes up. You have to go to Two Harbors today if you want to see a thousand footer although a trip to Silver Bay will allow you to see the American Integrity. It is taking the coal it loaded earlier this morning up there and is expected back from that short trip on Friday to load more coal, this time for Detroit Edison. Three salt water vessels will be arriving to join the Beluga Formation today. Only the Great Lakes Trader will fly a US flag into port today; no Canadians are expected. Photo taken on October 03, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-04-2007

Beluga Formation unloads to truck

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Today is a busy day in the port with a nice variety of boats and cargos. Three thousand footers will be here loading coal, one for Detroit Edison, one for Ontario Power Generation and one for Silver Bay Power. One salt water vessel will depart with grain and one will be arriving. The 730 foot Canadian Progress will be here to load coal. The Beluga Formation has been in port discharging wind turbine parts at the Port Terminal. Above, on Tuesday morning, the port’s two gantry cranes are slowly moving a base section from the ship’s cargo hold to a waiting truck. The base unit will eventually be taken by truck to a wind farm in North Dakota. Photo taken on October 02, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-03-2007

Ziemia Cieszynska waits to load

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The Polish owned and operated Ziemia Cieszynska was high in the water on Monday morning (above) as it waited to take on a cargo of spring wheat and durum wheat to take to Antwerp, Belgium. This is the second trip to the Great Lakes for the ship this season. After Antwerp, they will load steel coils in the Netherlands to bring back to the Great Lakes for their 3rd and last trip of the season, probably discharging that cargo in Cleveland, Burns Harbor and Milwaukee. After that, they will return to Lake Superior, loading grain either at Duluth Superior or Thunder Bay. Photo taken on October 01, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-02-2007

Stewart J. Cort at last winter’s layup

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The Stewart J. Cort will be here today for the 28th time this season. This trip, like all the rest, will find it entering the Superior entry and turning into the Burlington Northern dock to load taconite. And like all the other trips, it will also depart using the Superior entry. The last time it came under the Lift Bridge was this past January 14th when it arrived to spend the winter here (above). In Duluth, we can only hope it spends the winter here again this year so we have a chance to see this unique vessel at the Duluth ship canal again. It was the 1st of the 13 US flagged thousand footers to sail the Great Lakes when it was built in 1972.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-01-2007