Archives for May 2008

Beluga Enterprise here with wind turbine parts from Spain

Duluth is selling iron ore pellets and coal today. We are buying wind turbine parts. It’s not our iron ore or coal; we are just holding it for taconite mines on the iron range and coal mines in Wyoming and Montana. In return for the coal that Montana is sending us to pass on to Michigan and Ontario, the Beluga Enterprise arrived today (above) with wind turbine parts loaded in Spain and going by truck from Duluth to Shelby, Montana. In the picture above, you are looking up at the deck of the Beluga Enterprise at three wind turbine tower sections about to be picked up by the Port Authority cranes and placed onto waiting trailers.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-31-2008

Atlantic Huron here, then Nova Scotia

The Atlantic Huron came into port on Friday morning (above) to load coal for Nova Scotia. No US flagged vessels that we see here on any regular basis get out to the Atlantic Ocean and obviously, all the salt water ships we see here do. Some Canadian vessels load cargo here on an irregular basis that they take to Atlantic Ocean ports, as the Atlantic Huron is doing. The name of the ship reflects its dual capabilities of working in the Great Lakes and also the Atlantic Ocean. Today, 2 salt water ships, the Beluga Enterprise and the BBC Plata will be here; the Enterprise bringing wind turbine parts and the Plata loading grain.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-30-2008

American Integrity helped by tugs

That’s the American Integrity moving behind the Great Lakes tug North Carolina on Wednesday afternoon. The Integrity was on its way to load coal at Midwest Energy. On most boats, when major projects are not going on, painting the boat is the next best thing. With a dearth of salt water traffic this year, many of which need assistance from the tugs, the men at the Great Lakes tug shop were out painting and cleaning yesterday and hoping for more salt water traffic. In another season, they hope for ice, which they can break up very well. Now they want lots of wheat, something we don’t have a lot of to sell at the moment in Minnesota. When we get more wheat, more salt water ships will come to the Twin Ports to get it and the tug guys can put their paint brushes away and help them into port.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-29-2008

Coal from Duluth to Nova Scotia

The Atlantic Huron arrived this morning around 9:30 to load coal for Nova Scotia, a trip that will take her into the Atlantic. She started life in 1984 as the Prairie Harvest and became the Atlantic Huron in 1989. She lost that name to become the Melvin H. Baker in 1994. In 1998, she again assumed her current name. As her name suggests, she can sail both on the Great Lakes and the oceans. Earlier in her career, she took cargo to oil platforms off the coast of Newfoundland.

H. Lee White here, then Silver Bay

The H. Lee White came into port last night (above) with a cargo of coal. It should complete that discharge today and then leave for Silver Bay to pick up a load of iron ore pellets. Built in 1973, it is only 704 feet long. The smaller size allows it to go into ports where the 1,000 footers would not fit. Unlike most US freighters, it has been known to move through the Welland Canal, which was built to allow boats to move around Niagara Falls, thus providing a shipping lane between Lake Erie to Lake Ontario and eventually out to the Atlantic Ocean.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-28-2008

American Spirit here for fuel first

The American Spirit came in last night to load iron ore pellets at the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) terminal in Superior, but arrived by way of the Duluth entry (above) to take on fuel at Murphy Oil first. This is the 6th visit to the Twin Ports for the 1,004-foot boat this season. It came here many times as the George A. Stinson, although almost always coming in the Superior entry to load at the BN. It was built in 1978.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-27-2008

Barker goes to Fitgers

Many tourists and visitors saw nothing out of the ordinary in the picture above. Duluthians were wondering why the James R. Barker was headed over to Fitgers on Sunday morning. Happily, it didn’t make it. The 1,000-footer made a turn, circled back and shortly came into port to load coal. Earlier, as it approached the ship canal, the boat called the bridge to tell them they were going to turn away and check some concerns they had about the boat’s rudder. That done, they came in. The picture was taken from the grounds of the Marine Museum in Canal Park.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-26-2008

Paul R. Tregurtha greeted by visitors

Three thousand-footers will be coming to the Twin Ports today and even though we see a lot of them, 3 in one day is a lot of boat. Or more to the point, a lot of coal and iron ore pellets leaving the Twin Ports. The Mesabi Miner has probably already arrived and would be now loading iron ore pellets before departing under the Lift Bridge around noon. Shortly after that, the Paul R. Tregurtha, seen above arriving on April 13th, will be arriving for the 11th time this year. The James R. Barker will be here late in the day, both loading coal. It will be the 11th trip for the Barker also. There would be a 3-way tie for 11th if the Mesabi Miner hadn’t snuck in 3 trips within Lake Superior before the Soo locks opened in March. With that head start, it will be making its 14th trip here.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-25-2008

McCarthy passes under Aerial Lift Bridge

The Indiana Harbor is due in port this morning around 6 am. It will be loading coal at Midwest Energy Resources and should be departing under the Lift Bridge in mid afternoon. The Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. preceded it at Midwest. It arrived last night around 6 pm (above). This is the 8th trip to the Twin Ports this season for the Indiana Harbor; only the 3rd for the McCarthy.
Photo taken on May 23, 2008.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-24-2008

Beluga Federation here for grain

The Beluga Federation came into port at 2:30 on Thursday afternoon (above). It was built in 2006 and is loading grain. Midwest Energy Resources is still handling a lot of the action today. The Mesabi Miner finally got in and has likely departed earlier this morning. Two Canadian boats are due after the Mesabi Miner leaves, and then the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. will return for more coal for Ontario Power Generation in Nanticoke. Boats will be coming in for coal during the entire Memorial Day weekend.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-23-2008

Roger Blough here 4th time this season

The Roger Blough came into port on Wednesday afternoon (above) to load iron ore pellets at the CN Dock in West Duluth. It is the 4th trip to the Twin Ports for the 858 foot laker. It likely departed the port earlier this morning, heading down to deliver the cargo for use in steel mills in Gary, Indiana. The Beluga Federation, built in 2006, will be here today for the first time. It will load grain. It is only the 11th salt water ship of the season. There will be a waiting line for loading coal from the Midwest Energy Resources Dock in Superior. That may mean we will see some boats at anchor off the Duluth piers while they wait.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-22-2008

John B. Aird leaves with coal

Before departing on Monday evening, the Great Lakes Maritime Academy training ship, the State of Michigan, took a group of Twin Ports maritime officials and a group of local educators for a short cruise in the harbor. While the ship was returning to the dock, the Canadian flagged John B. Aird was coming under the Blatnik Bridge with a cargo of coal for Ontario Power Generation in Nanticoke. Today, three boats are expected to come under the Lift Bridge. One departing in the morning, and two arriving, one in the afternoon and one at night.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-21-2008

Philip R. Clarke goes to Two Harbors

The Philip R. Clarke loaded limestone in Cedarville, Michigan and should be here later today to discharge that cargo before going to Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets. Above, it is seen departing Duluth last week on May 14th also going to Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets. Last week’s pellets were discharged in Detroit before the boat went over to Cedarville to pick up the limestone it will bring here today.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-20-2008

State of Michigan training ship visits

The State of Michigan arrived in the Twin Ports late Sunday afternoon (above). In this case, the State of Michigan is the training ship used by the Great Lakes Maritime Academy in Traverse City, Michigan. It is docked behind the DECC and is expected to be open for public tours this afternoon. Before becoming in a training ship, it sailed as the Persistent and did submarine surveillance for the Navy. It was also used by the Coast Guard in their battle with the drug trade.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-19-2008

American Integrity leaves with coal

The American Integrity came into port on Saturday afternoon around 2:30 (above). It loaded 62,000 tons of coal at Midwest Energy Resources and has likely departed for the Detroit Edison power plant at St. Clair, Michigan. The place to go to join the Merchant Marine is the Great Lakes Maritime Academy at Traverse City, Michigan. Their training ship, State of Michigan, is expected in port on Sunday afternoon and will be open for public tours on Monday afternoon. It will be docked behind the DECC. Graduates of the Academy are qualified to serve as officers aboard Great Lakes and ocean ships.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-18-2008

Mesabi Miner here for more coal

The Mesabi Miner came into port on Friday morning to load coal for Detroit Edison at St. Clair, Michigan. In the picture above, it is just passing the Marine Tech dredge operation in the harbor. You see their crane barge pulling mostly sand off the bottom of the harbor, and dumping it into a barge. They have two barges so when the tug Callie M. is taking one barge back to the Federal Confined Disposal Facility at Erie Pier, where they were when this picture was taken, the crane is filling the other barge. They have been working 20 hour days and should be done with the portions of the shipping channel they are dredging by late September.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-17-2008

Walter J. McCarthy Jr. back after 1st trip

The Walter J. McCarthy Jr. returned to the Twin Ports on Thursday afternoon (above) after completing its first round trip of the new season after sustaining significant damage to the hull and engine room in January. It is loading about 62,000 tons of coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior and should be departing sometime this morning for Ontario Power Generation in Nanticoke. That was its destination for the first trip and it will also load coal here for Nanticoke when it returns to the Twin Ports in about a week.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-16-2008

Roger Blough here for iron ore pellets

The Roger Blough is due here around noon to load iron ore pellets at the CN Dock in Duluth after getting fuel at the Murphy Fuel Dock. It will take that cargo to steel mills in Gary. Before this trip, the Blough loaded iron ore pellets in Two Harbors, also for Gary. Above, the Blough is departing Duluth on March 24th this year, taking iron ore pellets to Conneaut after spending the winter layup in Duluth. For three days I have been predicting the Canadian flagged John D. Leitch should be here to load coal. Now, for the 4th time, the Leitch ‘will’ be here today to load coal for Ontario Power Generation in Nanticoke.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-15-2008

John D. Leitch here from Thunder Bay

The Canadian flagged John D. Leitch is expected here today, coming down from Thunder Bay. It will load coal for Ontario Power Generation in Nanticoke. Before 2001, it was known as the Canadian Century. In that year, it received a new midsection, giving it a larger cargo hold and soon thereafter the new name. It was rebuilt specifically to do what it is doing today, taking coal to Ontario Power, although it seldom loads coal in the Twin Ports.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-14-2008

American Integrity goes to Muskegon

The American Integrity left Duluth on Monday afternoon (above) to take the first of two cargos of coal to Consumers Energy’s Cobb power plant at Muskegon, Michigan, a port half way to Chicago on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. It will be back on the 17th for the second load. Today, the Canadian flagged John D. Leitch will be making its first trip of the year to the Twin Ports, loading coal for Ontario Power Generation in Nanticoke. We have not had many salt water ships so far this season but two that brought general cargo in will be leaving today, both taking a cargo with them, always a good sign since an outbound cargo means a less expensive trip to the Twin Ports.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-13-2008

Federal Danube discharges steel coils

The Federal Danube came into port at 6:13 on Sunday morning and went straight to the Port Terminal to discharge steel coils (above). Just to the left of the ship, you may be able to make out the field of white tubes across the slip from the ship. They are the wind turbine parts that have been discharged from several ships this year. They are waiting to be transported to a wind farm in Iowa. The American Integrity is probably here loading coal for Consumers Energy in Muskegon, Michigan. It should be departing around noon, the same time that the Kaye E. Barker is expected here to load iron ore pellets.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-12-2008

Special visitors to the port

Big cargos like wind turbines usually bring special visitors to the port. The ship comes with its crew, but with expensive cargo, the manufacturer often likes to have their people onsite to make sure everything is ok. It is good business but it also allows each party to monitor any problems like bumps, bruises and worse that can happen anywhere from the manufacturing site, to the ocean, the seaway, the port, the trucks and the construction site, to name a few possibilities.
Siemens, a very large international company, builds the wind turbines that have been coming here in the early part of the season at their factory in Denmark. In the case of the Asiaborg, here now, the pieces were loaded onto the ship in Denmark, and brought to Duluth and then discharged here from the ship to trucks that moved them to a temporary location at the Port Terminal. From there, trucks will carry the pieces to their final destination in Iowa where Siemens will construct the wind turbines.
Lene Soenderholm (left) worked for Siemens in Denmark, where she was born. She still works for Siemens although she recently moved to Houston (Siemens has offices all over the world, including Houston). She is a materials logistics specialist. On this job, she watches over the cargo until it is discharged in Duluth onto the truck. That work often finds her on the ship looking into the cargo holds.
Jim Anderson (right) is the Duluth Port Coordinator for Siemens. He is responsible for watching the wind turbine pieces once they are on the truck and until they depart the port for Iowa. He is rarely on the ship but stays close to the trucks as they are loaded. Jim has worked for Siemens since 1998 and works out of their Orlando office. He also graduated from Denfield in 1961 and soon after went on to other pursuits beyond Duluth. He has made only a couple trips back since then. When Siemens called Jim to assign him to this project, they had no idea they were sending him home. He has enjoyed the visit, working at the port terminal during the day and cruising some of his old haunts on the few off hours he has.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-11-2008

Federal Danube with steel coils

The Federal Danube is due here this evening with a cargo of steel coils to discharge at the Port Terminal before going to the Hallett Dock to load bentonite for Gdansk, Poland. The ship arrived in Montreal on April 28th, going into the Seaway to discharge coils at Burns Harbor before coming to Duluth to discharge the remaining coils. The Federal Danube includes sailors from Poland, Russia and the Philippines. The captain coming into the port was from Poland. He will be relieved by another captain from Poland who will be arriving by plane later today. Above, the Federal Danube is seen entering the Duluth ship canal in September, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-10-2008

H. Lee White brings limestone

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The H. Lee White, seen above entering the Duluth Ship Canal on July 21st, 2005, is expected in port today with a cargo of limestone loaded in Calcite, Michigan. After that, the White will depart for Silver Bay to pick up a cargo of iron ore pellets to take to the Cleveland Bulk Terminal at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. In recent years, the White has averaged about 12 trips to the Twin Ports a season. This will be the 1st trip here this season.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-09-2008

Asiaborg brings wind turbine to Duluth

The Asiaborg came under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge on May 7th, 2008 and encountered a traffic jam as she turned up the Duluth harbor. The CSL Assiniboine (in the rear at right) came into port at 4:25 pm, the Asiaborg (at left) arrived at 4:37 and the John J. Boland came between them before going under the Lift Bridge at 5:03.
After the Asiaborg got through the ‘situation’, top, she moved into the port terminal to discharge wind trubine parts from Denmark. They were taken by truck to a wind farm in Iowa. Above, a nacelle is slowly discharged from the Asiaborg by the two Port Terminal cranes working in tandem.

Asiaborg here with wind turbine blades

The Asiaborg came into port Wednesday afternoon (above) with another cargo of wind turbine parts built by Siemens in Denmark and destined to go by truck to a wind farm in Iowa. Many previous wind turbine shipments arrived in Duluth with wind turbine blades on the deck. They were quite a sight. This ship has all the parts for wind turbines except the blades. The Asiaborg deck is loaded with base units. Three of them are used to form the base for one wind turbine. Later today, the BBC Europe will be here to load beet pulp pellets. Several years ago, Mr. Wagenborg said he would consider it when someone suggested they name a ship Duluthborg. So far no Duluthborg and no BBC Duluth.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-08-2008

Blue Heron home from school

The Walter J. McCarthy Jr. came under the Lift Bridge on Tuesday afternoon around 5 pm, back from sea trials watched over by the Coast Guard. Right behind the 1,000-footer was the 119-foot Blue Heron, above, coming in after a successful day at school on the Lake. Owned and operated by the University of Minnesota Duluth, the research vessel is used by a wide variety of groups that study the Great Lakes. Today, the Blue Heron hosted a calculus class from UMD, specifically “Calculus for the Natural Sciences.” Today was the natural sciences part. Students took samples of sediment from the bottom of the lake and also did some biological sampling using plankton nets. The class was split into 2 groups; there were about 8 students in both a morning and an afternoon group. The boat carries a crew of 5.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-07-2008

Canadian Transport leaves with coal

The big news today is the rebirth of the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. After almost 4 months of repairs, it will be going out in the lake this morning for sea trials and is expected back early this evening to load coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior. It will follow the Canadian Transport seen above departing Duluth in April, 2004. Both boats will be taking coal to Ontario Power Generation in Nanticoke.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-06-2008

Looking for the next vessel

Greta Zelenak (above) is looking for the next boat on the horizon as the Cason J. Callaway passed her by going under the Lift Bridge on Sunday afternoon. Her mother Susan (below) brought Greta in from their home in Grand Rapids. There was a lot more activity at the ship canal last night after the Callaway. The Paul R. Tregurtha came in and should be departing today as will the Callaway. The Federal Mattawa was expected to depart last night, making way for the BBC Zarate to move into AGP to load grain. It may leave tonight.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-05-2008

Federal Mattawa loading grain at AGP

The Federal Mattawa came into port on Saturday morning at 7:22. It went to AGP in Duluth to load grain (above). Meanwhile, one slip over, the BBC Zarate was finishing a discharge of wind turbine parts from Denmark. It will wait for the Federal Mattawa to complete, probably later today and will then move over to AGP to load grain for a return cargo.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-04-2008

BBC Zarate arrives with wind turbine parts

The BBC Zarate arrived Thursday morning (above) to discharge wind turbine parts loaded in Denmark. Longshoremen at Lake Superior Warehousing Company should complete that job this afternoon. The ship will then be cleaned and readied to load grain at AGP. It will follow the Federal Mattawa there. Progress with both ships may be limited by weather.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-03-2008

Too windy for wind turbines?

Despite a very windy day, work proceeded as planned at Lake Superior Warehousing Company at the Port Terminal yesterday. Longshoremen discharged wind turbine parts from the BBC Zarate onto trucks that then carried each piece to another part of the Port Terminal where a crane picked them off (above) until they would be reloaded onto trucks and taken to a wind farm in Iowa. The pieces were manufactured by Siemens in Denmark. The BBC Zarate arrived in Duluth on Thursday morning at 6:13. Built in 2007, it was completing its first trip into the Seaway.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-02-2008

Joseph L. Block here with limestone

Today, the Twin Ports will send a lot of coal to electrical power plants in the lower lakes and we will discharge the first of many ships bringing wind turbine parts to be taken by truck from here to wind farms in the mid west. The Twin Ports does not take a side when it comes to energy. We take what we get and move it on its way. Neither coal nor wind turbine parts are built here or used here. It is the same with taconite and grain. The BBC Zarate is expected around first light with wind turbine parts. There is a line to get coal. Last night, the Algorail was waiting in the lake for two boats to depart before it came in. The American Integrity is after the Algorail and then the Algolake. The Joseph L. Block will bring limestone in before leaving for Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets. Above, it is coming under the Lift Bridge last August.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-01-2008