Archives for October 21, 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