Archives for August 2008

Beeghly arrives to friendly crowd

The Charles M. Beeghly arrived last night to load iron ore pellets at the CN dock in West Duluth. The boat gave a double salute to acknowledge the large crowd that gathered to welcome it to Duluth (above). It was built in 1959 in Toledo and is 806 feet long, and is nearly identical to the John Sherwin, a boat that spent many years in the Twin Ports sitting idle. This is the 8th trip here this season for the Beeghly, more than the total trips it made in each of the last 5 years. Photo taken on August 30, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-31-2008

Flinterland on her way

The Flinterland departed Duluth on Thursday afternoon with a ship full of blades. Most every available space in its two cargo holds and up on deck, see above, was filled with wind turbine blades going to Brazil. I am assured that the boat is very seaworthy but it doesn’t look like it when you consider it is going into the Atlantic Ocean and then turning right for Brazil. Along the way, they will be sailing right into the waters that kick up hurricanes this time of year. I am assured this is not a problem but wind turbine blades are built to catch wind and with that many blades on deck to catch the wind, it would seem like they could fly down to Brazil. They have several private services that watch the weather closely and send them advisories that include updated tracks they should follow to avoid difficult weather. They are also advised where the ship should go to wait out a storm, and I assume it tells them when to go to those places in time to get there. Photo taken on August 28, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-29-2008

Flinterland gets assist from cranes 1 & 2

A lot of boats arrived in Duluth yesterday and that means a lot of boats will be departing Duluth today. The Dutch flagged Flinterland is one of those boats. It arrived at sunrise on Wednesday and began to load wind turbine blades for Brazil at 8 am. Above, you see the Port Terminal’s two gantry cranes loading one blade into the cargo hold of the ship while a truck brings the next blade to be loaded into position. The last blades will be loaded onto the deck of the ship and that will make for a pretty picture when it departs, probably later today. Photo taken on August 27, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-28-2008

Alpena arrives Duluth with usual cargo

Within this year of the wind turbine in the Twin Ports, today is the ‘day of the wind turbine.’ We expect one ship, the BBC Plata, to depart the port after discharging wind turbine parts, one, the Flinterland, will arrive to load wind turbine parts, and another one, the SCL Bern, will be here to discharge wind turbine parts, although it will have to wait for the first two to finish. And until wind turbines take over, the folks at Midwest Energy will be loading 4 boats with coal today, all going to electrical power plants on the lower lakes. And the Alpena, seen above coming into port August, 2006, will bring cement as it usually does about once every 3 weeks.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-27-2008

Vancouverborg not going to Vancouver

Wikipedia says that the Garganey is a dabbling duck. The Garganey that will arrive late tonight is a Hong Kong flagged and Chinese owned ship that was built last year and is now operating under a charter to Canadian Forest Navigation, sometimes known as Canfornav. They operate a lot of ships that they name after ducks. Many of them, such as the Puffin, the Pintail and the Greenwing, to name a few, have been to the Twin Ports, usually to load grain although the dabbling duck ship will be loading bentonite. Above, we see the Vancouverborg departing the port Monday afternoon with beet pulp pellets. Photo taken on August 25, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-26-2008

Miner leaves visitors wanting more ships

Where is there a nicer boardwalk? In Duluth, you can go for a walk with a lighthouse on one side and a Great Lakes freighter on the other. Such was the case on Sunday as the Mesabi Miner departed the port with coal for Detroit Edison as many late summer visitors enjoyed a beautiful day by the ship canal (above). We have two salties in port today; the BBC Plata is discharging wind turbine parts and the Vancouverborg will leave with beet pulp pellets. A third one, the Federal Yukon, will arrive to load grain. On Tuesday, BBC Plata will depart and the Garganey will arrive for its first trip here. On Wednesday, two more first time visitors will be here; the Flinterland to load wind turbine parts and the SCL Bern to discharge them. Photo taken on August 24, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-24-2008

Edgar B. Speer in Duluth harbor

The Edgar B. Speer, seen above moving down the Duluth harbor in October, 2004, was only here once last season but is expected today for the 7th time this year. Still it has spent most of the season loading iron ore pellets in Two Harbors. Gary will be the destination for today’s pellets, as it has been for most of the Speer’s loads out of the CN dock in Two Harbors.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-24-2008

Robert S. Pierson enters under the Aerial Lift Bridge

The Canadian flagged Robert S. Pierson came under the Lift Bridge on Friday afternoon to load iron ore pellets at the CN dock in West Duluth (above). It is the 7th visit the boat has made to the Twin Ports this season, but the first time it has entered by way of the Duluth entry. The other trips were loading iron ore pellets at the BNSF Dock in Superior. It was formerly owned by Oglebay Norton as the US flagged Wolverine, and like all the Oglebay Norton fleet, was sold to other companies. Two sister boats, the Oglebay Norton’s William R. Roesch and Paul Thayer are now the Calumet and Manitowoc. Photo taken on August 22, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-23-2008

Federal Seto departing Duluth

After a stop to discharge cargo in Hamilton, the Federal Seto arrived in Duluth on Thursday morning to load grain for Spain. Above, it is seen departing Duluth after its first trip here in 2004, the year it was built. It was back once in 2005 and once in 2006. Skipping 2007, it is now back for the 4th time. It is only the 4th salt water ship to arrive in August and the 1st to load grain. The other three brought wind turbine parts and general cargo. In July, only 2 salt water ships were here. The good news; for the first time in a while, more salties are scheduled to be in the Twin Ports in the next 2 weeks. Local officials hope it is the start of the fall harvest and a return to normal saltie traffic. Photo taken on October 03, 2004
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-22-2008

Dredging continues

The Marine Tech crane barge Dean R. Smith has been dredging in and near the shipping lanes in the harbor since the spring. Lately, it has been stationed close by the Lift Bridge. On Monday afternoon, it was working hard dropping the clam shell down to the bottom (about 29 feet below) and lifting material up and into the scow that was tied to the crane barge (above). They work with 2 scows; filling one with material from the bottom, mostly sand, while the other is taken by the tug Callie M. to Erie Pier on the St. Louis River where it is emptied. They then return to the crane barge and exchange scows. Photo taken on August 19, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-21-2008

Alder getting closer to departing dry dock

Yesterday, we had a picture of the Coast Guard cutter Alder taken from the stern as it sat on blocks on the bottom of the dry dock at Fraser Shipyards. On Tuesday morning, they started to fill the dry dock with water, a process that would take 4 or 5 hours. At a certain height, the water slowly lifted the ship off the blocks. In the picture above, taken from the bow, the ship is still resting on blocks as water fills the dry dock and would soon lift the ship off the bottom. You can see the gate behind the ship. It is holding back the water from the harbor, as it has since the Alder entered the dry dock. Sometime today, with the Alder side of the gate at the same water level as the harbor, the gate will be opened and the Alder will return to business. Photo taken on August 19, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-20-2008

Alder to depart dry dock

Our Coast Guard cutter Alder spent most of the summer in the dry dock at Fraser Shipyards in Superior (above) for a 4-year inspection. While in dry dock, the vessel is supported on blocks. This morning workers at the shipyard will fill the dry dock with water. That will slowly refloat the Alder to the same level as the water just outside the dry dock. It will stay there for 24 hours for a final check and then the gates will be opened, probably on Wednesday. Commander Kevin Wirth will move his vessel out of the shipyard and into the open water of the harbor. Photo taken on August 18, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-19-2008

The Heron waits for the Callaway

Monday afternoon, August 18th, 2008; the Cason J. Callaway had just departed Duluth while the research vessel Blue Heron was circling around to come in on the next lift of the Duluth Aerial Bridge.

Joseph H. Thompson has much history

The tug-barge Joseph H. Thompson (seen above arriving in August, 2002) is due today with a load of limestone. This is the 12th trip here this season. It was one of the first boats of the season when it arrived on March 29th. The barge part is still most of the hull of a boat built in 1944 as the Marine Robin. It crossed the Atlantic several times during the war and was one of the many boats used in the Normandy invasion. In 1990, the vessel was turned into a barge when the stern and part of the hull were removed. A tug was built from the steel that was removed and was then inserted into a notch built into the back of the barge. Photo taken on July 02, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-18-2008

CSL Tadoussac late-day Duluth departure

Sunrise would be (or was) a good time to watch some boat activity under the bridge. Two arrivals and a departure were expected. One early arrival, the CSL Tadoussac, seen above departing Duluth in July, 2002, should finish loading iron ore pellets and depart in the afternoon. It was here many times as the Tadoussac but in 2001, it was upgraded by Canada Steamship Lines and the company’s initials were attached to the boat’s name. During the upgrade, it was widened from 75 feet to 78 feet and the cargo self-unloading system was upgraded.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-17-2008