Archives for April 2008

Adam E. Cornelius leads Tregurtha into Duluth ship canal

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On April 19th, the Paul R. Tregurtha departed Duluth with a cargo of coal for Detroit Edison in St. Clair, Michigan. Two days later, the Adam E. Cornelius departed Duluth, heading for Buffalo with a cargo of wheat. In the picture above, taken yesterday, the Cornelius just beat the Tregurtha to the Duluth ship canal as both were returning from trips to Buffalo and Detroit. But the race was not so close since the Tregurtha had made another round trip to Detroit while the Cornelius was discharging wheat one Great Lake (Erie) further. The Tregurtha has probably already departed the port for Detroit with another cargo of coal. The Cornelius won’t get away until this evening. Coal is faster than wheat!
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-30-2008

Rebecca here for grain

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Five boats will be arriving in Duluth today. Three of them are expected to depart today also. The Rebecca is expected here to load grain and will be here several days. Last year, it was the first salt water ship of the season, coming into port on April 10th (above) with the help of the tug Minnesota on the stern and the North Dakota on the bow. Today, it is still only the second saltie of the season.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-29-2008

James R. Barker again for coal

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The James R. Barker came into port on Sunday evening (above) to load coal for a Detroit Edison power plant in St. Clair, Michigan. The boat called the St. Clair was named after the city since it was intended to deliver coal to that power plant. It still does but it goes to many other ports with a variety of cargos. Today it was set to load iron ore pellets in Two Harbors but it arrived in Duluth at 7:30 Sunday night. It is either getting fuel or repairs or their orders have been changed. The now Canadian flagged Robert S. Pierson will load iron ore pellets in Superior. It is the former US flagged Wolverine.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-28-2008

Vista Star, always a sign of spring

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The return of the Vista boats to their dock at the DECC is usually a sure sign of spring. The Vista Queen and Vista Star arrived there on Friday, signaling instead a last blast of winter. A new employee training session was planned in the harbor for Saturday but cold weather prevented the Minnesota Slip Bridge from opening, so they had the session on board the boat at the slip while it snowed outside (above).
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-27-2008

Presque Isle is one of many vessels coming into the port

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On this day last year, the 5th salt water ship of the season arrived in the Twin Ports. This year, the 2nd saltie is not expected until next week when three should be arriving. One of them, the BBC Zarate, will be bringing the first of many shipments of wind turbine parts this year, this one from Siemens in Denmark. Today 3 US flagged boats and 2 Canadian flags will be here. Three will load taconite and 2 will be loading iron ore pellets. Two will be taking cargo to Nanticoke, Ontario. The Canadian Olympic will load coal for Nanticoke while the Presque Isle will be taking iron ore pellets there. Above, the Presque Isle is seen coming into port last July 28th.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-26-2008

Roger Blough comes out of the fog

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The Roger Blough came in through the fog last night at 6:30 (above) to load iron ore pellets for Conneaut. The Cason J. Callaway is expected this evening. It made 18 trips to the Twin Ports last season, often bringing limestone here and then loading iron ore pellets, usually at Two Harbors. This will be its first trip of the season to the Twin Ports. It is bringing limestone loaded at Cedarville, Michigan and will then load iron ore pellets for the downbound cargo. Both boats are owned and operated by Great Lakes Fleet, located in Duluth.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-25-2008

Getting your TWIC card

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The Twin Ports are spread over two cities in two states. The people who operate the port work in a wide variety of occupations from stevedores and tug operators to guards and accountants. There are only two people who know everyone in the port. That would be Meredith Karasti (left) and Brenda Hennessey (right). They work for the Department of Homeland Security’s Transportation Worker Identification Credential Program, TWIC for short. Soon, anyone who works within, or needs access to, the port’s secure areas will need to have an id card, commonly called a TWIC card. Meredith and Brenda, both from Duluth, have been interviewing, finger printing and photographing those many, many people since late December. Above, they are working with Julie Danula (right), senior accounting analyst at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-24-2008

Lee A. Tregurtha here for coal

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The Lee A. Tregurtha came into port Tuesday afternoon to load coal at Midwest Energy Resources for Taconite Harbor. It likely departed for there very early this morning and is expected to leave there later today to load iron ore pellets at Two Harbors. It was followed at the coal dock by the Paul R. Tregurtha. It is loading coal for a Detroit Edison power plant at St. Clair, Michigan. The boats are named after Paul R. Tregurtha, vice chairman of Interlake Steamship Company and his wife Lee. The Paul R. is the largest boat on the Great Lakes. The Lee A. is one of the oldest and most historic, and to many people, one of the prettiest boats on the Great Lakes. It was built at Sparrows Point, Maryland as the USS Chiwawa and served as a tanker on the Atlantic Ocean during World War 2. The boat was awarded 2 battle stars.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-23-2008

American Century due here to load pellets

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The American Century is due here this evening to load iron ore pellets at the CN Dock in West Duluth. The Century usually loads coal at Midwest Energy Resources, across the St. Louis River from the CN dock. It will take the cargo of pellets to Conneaut. On the previous trip to the Twin Ports, it also loaded iron ore pellets, but at the Burlington Northern Dock in Superior. Those pellets were taken to Zug Island, Michigan, near Detroit. Above, the American Century is seen departing Duluth with coal on December 7th, last year.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-22-2008

Adam E. Cornelius here for wheat

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The Adam E. Cornelius came into port on Sunday afternoon (above) to load wheat at the General Mills dock in Superior. This is the first trip here for the Cornelius this season. It was here 21 times last year. As on most of the trips it makes here, it is loading wheat at General Mills in Superior to take to the Frontier grain elevator in Buffalo. That is work that was handled by the Kinsman Independent for many years. The Cornelius was built as the Roger M. Kyes in 1973 and became the Adam E. Cornelius in 1989. It was chartered to Inland Steel for many years, but since 1998, it has sailed for American Steamship Company in Buffalo.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-21-2008

Algoway back for 2nd trip

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Most boats that come to the Twin Ports start loading or unloading cargo within minutes of their arrival. They depart minutes after that work is complete. Sailors on those boats usually work 4 hours on and 4 hours off, three shifts a day. They will still stand those shifts whether in port or out in the lake. Still, the American Integrity will seem a little like a normal place of business today, arriving around 8 this morning and leaving about 9 hours later, giving them a good hour for lunch. Normal that is, except for the day of the week. Working on a boat is a 7 day a week job. The Algoway will be back today for the second time this year. It had not been to the Twin Ports for many years before its first trip this season, when it arrived on April 8th (above).
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-20-2008

A barge named James L. Kuber

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I suppose if you only have one boat coming in for the day, it might as well be the biggest boat on the Great Lakes, and that is what we have today. The Paul R. Tregurtha will be here to load coal for the Detroit Edison power plant in St. Clair, Michigan. That happens about once a week during the shipping season. The steamship Reserve used to come here, not as often, but still fairly regularly. It was back in the Twin Ports yesterday, but everything behind the self unloader has been removed, replaced by a notch for a tug. The Reserve is now a barge named the James L. Kuber. After discharging limestone in the port, the barge, pushed by the tug Victory, departed on Friday afternoon (above) for Silver Bay to load iron ore pellets.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-19-2008

Arthur M. Anderson in with limestone

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The Arthur M. Anderson spent the winter layup at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay and made its first trip to Duluth yesterday, coming in with a cargo of limestone around 9 in the morning. It departed Duluth for Two Harbors late Thursday afternoon (above). It will load iron ore pellets there for Gary, Indiana. We will likely not see any boat traffic in the Twin Ports today until this evening. Two boats from the Interlake Steamship Company will be here. The Charles M. Beeghly is expected first. It is also making its first trip here this season. It will load iron ore pellets. The Paul R. Tregurtha will follow, loading coal at Midwest Energy Resources.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-18-2008

Steamer Reserve now barge James L. Kuber

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The tug Victory was set to arrive earlier this morning, pushing the barge James L. Kuber in front of it. The barge was last here on July 13th, 2007 when it was the steamer Reserve. It left on the 14th and is now coming back as the barge James L. Kuber. Above it is seen coming into port two weeks earlier, on July 1st, when it was still the steamer Reserve. The power plant was taken out and the superstructure, the two decks above the main deck at the bow of the boat, as in the picture above, were removed and a notch was added so that a tug could move in and connect to the vessel. Why was it done? One reason was the reduction in crew needed to operate a tug as opposed to a Great Lakes steamer. The tug only needs a crew of about 14 while the Reserve had a crew of at least 25.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-17-2008

Canadian Progress comes in from anchor

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The Canadian Progress arrived yesterday but dropped anchor off the Superior piers to wait for the berth at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior to clear. That happened when the American Mariner departed Tuesday evening. The Canadian Progress probably came in later last night and likely departed earlier this morning. The American Mariner took its coal to Milwaukee; the Progress will go to its usual destination, Ontario Power Generation in Nanticoke. Above, it is entering the Duluth harbor in June, 2002.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-16-2008

American Spirit departs with pellets

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The American Spirit departed Duluth last night at 6:45 (above) with a load of iron ore pellets for Zug Island, Michigan. It will be back in port in about 5 days to load iron ore pellets again, this time for Gary, Indiana. Not long after it departed last night, it should have passed the American Integrity on the way to Duluth to load coal and not too far behind it was the Mesabi Miner, coming to the Twin Ports to load iron ore pellets.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-15-2008

Paul R. Tregurtha comes in

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The Duluth piers never cease to amaze. For a couple days last week, people were down there trying to stay vertical while a blizzard with high winds from the north east attacked the shore line. In Duluth, people do two things when this happens. They stay home or they go down to the ship canal to take a look. Then it is over, the big storm goes away and the big boats come back. Each draw a lot of attention, as the Paul R. Tregurtha did when it came in on a bright sunny Sunday afternoon (yesterday).
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-14-2008

Mesabi Miner comes in from the cold

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The Mesabi Miner, after waiting for the weather to improve, came in to port on Saturday afternoon at 4 o’clock (above). Today, the Twin Ports is refueling 2 Lake Superior ports with 3 boats. The Mesabi Miner will take coal to the Minnesota Power plant at Taconite Harbor. The Kaye E. Barker and the James R. Barker will both go to Marquette. The James R. Barker will replenish the supply of coal for We Energies, a power company in Presque Isle (Marquette) that serves both Wisconsin and Michigan. The Kaye E. Barker will take coal to the City of Marquette’s power plant.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-13-2008

Storm halts vessel traffic

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About 2 pm on Thursday, the Gadwall arrived in Duluth, the first salt water ship of the season. It was also the last boat to move in the harbor for one day and counting. Soon we will start up again with boats in a variety of positions, either in the harbor or out in the lake. The Halifax was at anchor off the Superior entry but it has moved to Silver Bay to anchor there until the weather clears. Then, the boats in the harbor will start or complete their work here and depart. The Mesabi Miner and Kaye E. Barker were expected today and have been at anchor off Thunder Bay waiting for the storm to subside. The lack of ships did not keep people away from the ship canal. The three above had a lot of company all day Saturday and into the evening. Waves are almost as exciting as a thousand footer coming in, or maybe more. Big boats come into port everyday of the season.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-12-2008

Gadwall is first ocean going ship

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On Thursday afternoon, just hours before an expected blizzard, the Hong Kong flagged and Chinese crewed Gadwall came into port. Last year, the ship was here at the end of its maiden voyage; this year it is the first salt water ship of the season. This year’s celebration planned for the ship was postponed until Monday.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-11-2008

Gadwall: First saltwater ship of 2008

Arrived: April 10, 2008 at 2:10 pm
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Click here for more about the Gadwall.

American Century & American Integrity

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The American Integrity came into port on Wednesday morning to load 62,000 tons of coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior. The thousand footer was expected to depart very early this morning. Later today, her fleet mate, the American Century, equally as long, is due in port to load an equal amount of coal. Both boats are taking their cargo to their usual destination: the Detroit Edison power plant in St. Clair, Michigan. Above, the American Century departed Duluth last Saturday with the same cargo for the same destination. Today the boat returns from that trip.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-10-2008

Walter J. McCarthy Jr. has a problem

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On January 14th, the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. arrived in port for winter layup but hit a submerged object while backing into the dock at Hallett 8 in Superior. It stayed there until Tuesday morning when three tugs moved it to the Enbridge Dock in Superior for continued repairs (above). The tug North Carolina is tied to the bow of the boat and is pulling, or towing, the McCarthy behind it. For the most part, it was able to pull the boat by itself. The tug Kentucky was tied to the stern of the boat, performing the job of the break pedal if there was a problem and the maneuver had to be stopped. In such a case, it would shift into reverse to slow the forward movement of the boat. Unseen in this picture is the tug Minnesota. It was not tied to the boat, but provided pushing power when needed, usually in making a slight course correction.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-09-2008

Quebecois here with more cement

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The Quebecois came into port last night (above) with a cargo of cement for St. Lawrence Cement in Duluth. This is the first cargo St. Lawrence will discharge this year, and it is the first visit here this season for the boat. Last year, the Canadian flagged steamer brought a cargo of cement here about once a month, each time to the St. Lawrence plant. Other traffic today will load both iron ore pellets and coal. Later this week, the Gadwall, the first salt water ship of the season, is expected. It will load grain.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-08-2008

John J. Boland here instead of Silver Bay

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Unless the Edward L. Ryerson departed on Sunday night, there was no traffic going in or out of the port yesterday. Today, the John J. Boland, seen above departing Duluth last July 4th, is making its first trip to the Twin Ports this season. It was originally set to load iron ore pellets at Silver Bay but it is now coming to the Twin Ports where it will load iron ore pellets at the CN dock in West Duluth. It spent the winter lay up at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-07-2008

Edward L. Ryerson comes in Duluth entry!

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Bad news for the owners of the Edward L. Ryerson can sometimes be good news for boat watchers at the Duluth Ship Canal. The Ryerson made an unexpected stop in the Twin Ports on Saturday afternoon to get some minor repairs at Fraser Shipyards in Superior. It came under the Lift Bridge with one of the loudest whistles I have ever heard down there.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-06-2008

American Integrity

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In June, 2006, the Oglebay Norton and 5 fleet mates from the Oglebay Norton Company in Cleveland were sold to American Steamship in Buffalo. American Steamship boats are painted black and white with red on the stack. Oglebay Norton boats were iron ore red and a cream color. Just after the sale, new names were painted on the hull of all the boats and the Oglebay Norton became the American Integrity. Last year, during the season, the outside of the pilot house on the American Integrity was painted white. This past winter, the rest of the cream color was replaced with white. The entire superstructure at the stern is now white, as is a wide strip that rings the bow. It is hard to tell in the picture above, taken yesterday as it was departing the port, but the effect is striking to anyone who has been watching boats down at the ship canal for a while.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-05-2008

Edgar B. Speer fights ice to get here

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Two 1,000-footers are expected in port today to load coal for Detroit Edison power plants in St. Clair, Michigan. The American Integrity was expected early this morning and should be loading coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior. It will likely depart this afternoon, leaving the dock open for the arrival of the American Century tonight. The Edgar B. Speer, seen above departing Duluth on April 6th, 2004, is expected here today after battling thick ice on its way to the Soo. Upon arrival, it will load iron ore pellets at the CN dock in West Duluth for Conneaut.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-04-2008

Capt. Henry Jackman here for coal

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The Capt. Henry Jackman came into port Wednesday morning at 7:00 to load coal at Midwest Energy Resources. It took the place of the departing Paul R. Tregurtha, finally returning to service after a week of repairs here caused by ice damage. The Tregurtha departed at 7:40 Wednesday morning. The Jackman departed at 2:25 in the afternoon (above). It was built in 1981 for a company owned by Cargill, a grain company and Hanna Mining. On the maiden voyage, it carried a record amount of wheat and on the return trip loaded a record amount of iron ore. The boat was sold in 1986 to the current owner, Algoma Central, and renamed the Capt. Henry Jackman after a man who operated several schooners on Lake Ontario between 1850 and 1870.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-03-2008

Visiting in the world of Homeland Security

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The border between Canada and the United States is getting more restricted every day. Canadian boats such as the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin still come into port, as it did this morning, with the same regularity and US boats still call at Canadian ports. The local customs officials board Canadian boats when they arrive. Add to that the additional security that is in place both around the port and on all the vessels that come into the port. I went over to talk with Julie Fletcher, the second cook on the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin yesterday. She has been on the Martin for over a month. She lives in Thorold, Ontario, right next to the Welland Canal. In the never land between customs and security, there was a brief moment when I was not allowed to come on the boat and she was not allowed to get off the boat; we had our own little version of a US Canadian border conflict. We began to talk, I mean yell, at each other but shortly, perhaps because we were making so much noise, it was finally decided that she could get off the boat to visit with me. I of course was hoping I could get a nice meal on the boat but I didn’t ask her to deliver any take out, or take down, as you can see above. She finally descended the gang way (above), we visited for a while, she went back on board, the boat went over to the CN dock to load iron ore pellets and they probably departed the port early this morning.
submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-02-2008

Indiana Harbor back for more coal

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The Indiana Harbor arrived in port yesterday at 6 pm, just a little later than the snow did (above). On March 22nd, it left the port after a winter layup at the Hallett 5 dock, taking coal to Silver Bay. There it loaded iron ore pellets for Ashtabula. It is back from that trip to load more coal, this time for Ontario Power Generation in Nanticoke. It appears that the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin got free of the ice in the St. Mary’s River and was due here earlier this morning to load iron ore pellets at the CN dock in West Duluth. It should be gone by noon.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-01-2008