Archives for October 2008

Mesabi Miner nears the Duluth ship canal

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The amount of daylight we will have today, 11 hours and 9 minutes, is about the time it takes for a thousand footer to come under the Lift Bridge, load about 64,000 tons of coal and return to the lake for the trip back down the chain of lakes. That’s about how long most trips here have been for the Mesabi Miner this season. It is due here just before sunrise and should be leaving just before the sun sets. The crew has a good chance at a daylight job in Duluth today. Above, it is approaching the Duluth ship canal on November 25, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-31-2008

Old-Timers meet new ship USS Freedom

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It was not hard for USS Freedom executive officer Commander Kris Doyle (second from left), to impress four Duluth old timers with her brand new ship on Wednesday. While winding up the tour on the deck of the ship (above), Wes Harkins, at left, retired, Fraser Shipyard, showed Doyle a picture of the USS Paducah, a ship Wes left Duluth on in 1940. To Doyle’s left, Dick Bibby, retired, M.A. Hanna Co. and World War 2 merchant marine, Commander “Gil” Porter, retired US Coast Guard and former Great Lakes pilot and at right, Davis Helberg, former Duluth Seaway Port Authority director all agreed it was a new Navy. They asked all the old questions, but the answers from Doyle were all new. As an example, she explained how the ship can do 50 mph without a rudder or propeller. Think Jet Ski at a much higher level. Photo taken on October 29, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-30-2008

USS Freedom cargo area

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The photo yesterday of the USS Freedom was taken from the front of the ship looking back. Above, the photo is taken from the back, looking forward into the airborne mission zone, often referred to as the hangar. It is one of several large open spaces that allow the crew to deploy a variety of assets called mission packages. The mine hunting and sub hunting packages are completed. There will also be a mission package for humanitarian rescue. Forty per cent of the inside space of the vessel is reconfigurable space, in other words, open space when they are not outfitted for a particular mission. The space above can hold two helicopters, with blades folded. These packages will be deployed around the world, allowing the ship to be reconfigured for a change in mission just by replacing packages. Photo taken on October 27, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-29-2008

USS Freedom brings out the big guns

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The USS Freedom arrived on Sunday afternoon and should be here until Thursday. The photo above was taken on Monday afternoon while standing on the pointy end of the ship as our guide, executive officer Kristy D. Doyle, first called it so we would understand. It is more formally the forecastle. Straight ahead is the ship’s 57 mm gun, its largest. It rotates and can also be used as an anti aircraft weapon. A missile launcher is at the other end of the ship; it holds 21 missiles. Photo taken on October 27, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-28-2008

Tug assist for USS Freedom to DECC dock

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The Navy had two tugs standing by when the USS Freedom arrived in Duluth on Sunday. Both were helpful as the ship approached the berth at the DECC head-on. Above, they asked the tug North Dakota to gently move up to the side of the ship so it could use the tug as a pivot as the ship rotated around the tug until it was lined up beside their berth at the DECC. In the picture, the USS Freedom is moving clockwise as the North Dakota maintained a stationary position. Photo taken on October 26, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-27-2008

The USS Freedom comes to Duluth

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The USS Freedom arrived Duluth on Sunday October 26th, 2008 at 12:38 in the afternoon. She is a fast, maneuverable vessel that will be used for mine, anti-submarine and surface warfare and for humanitarian relief. It can be reconfigured to provide for helicopter and boat launch and as well as variety of recovery operations. Designed by Lockheed Martin, she was constructed at Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin and was officially accepted by the Navy in Marinette, Wis., on Sept. 18th, 2008. She was commissioned in Milwaukee on November 8th, 2008 and was commanded by Cmdr. Donald D. Gabrielson of Hibbing.
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The photo above was taken while standing on the pointy end of the ship, known more formally as the forecastle. Straight ahead is the ship’s 57 mm gun, its largest. It rotates and can also be used as an anti aircraft weapon. A missile launcher is at the other end of the ship; it holds 21 missiles.
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Above, the photo is taken from the back deck of the ship, looking forward into the airborne mission zone, often referred to as the hanger. It is one of several large open spaces that allow the crew to deploy a variety of assets called mission packages. The mine hunting and submarine hunting packages were completed. A mission package for humanitarian rescue was added later. Forty per cent of the inside space of the vessel is reconfigurable open space when they are not outfitted for a particular mission. The space above can hold two helicopters, with blades folded. These packages will be deployed around the world, allowing the ship to be reconfigured for a change in mission just by replacing packages.
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Above, the pilot house. The room below allows operators to make use of a wide variety of new electronic navigation aids, including very high power video.
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USS Freedom launch

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The US Navy ship that will be commissioned as the USS Freedom in Milwaukee on November 8th is expected in Duluth today. While there are no public tours, the ship will be behind the DECC for several days. Above, the ship was side launched at Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin. The 377 foot Navy ship will be joined in the harbor by three thousand footers coming to load coal, a smaller Canadian boat here for coal and the Mark Hannah, bringing a barge full of liquid calcium chloride to discharge at the Hallett Dock.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-26-2008

Xenia entering Twin Ports harbor

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The Xenia came into port Friday afternoon to load beet pulp pellets. This is the 5th trip the Xenia has made to the Twin Ports since it was built in 2002. It is 468 feet long, shorter than most of the older salt water ships that come to Duluth, but part of a fleet of newer ships that are shorter and more flexible. The smaller size gives them access to more ports and rivers around the world, many ports that the larger ships are too big to enter. Above, it is entering the harbor last November. Photo taken on November 18, 2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-25-2008

Walter J. McCarthy Jr. departs Duluth

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The Walter J. McCarthy Jr. departed Duluth on Thursday afternoon (above) with 64,000 tons of coal for Ontario Power Generation in Nanticoke. American Steamship Company in Buffalo owns the McCarthy, and also the American Mariner which will be here late this morning to load coal for Ashland, Winconsin. It will likely cross the lake to Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets when the crew completes discharging in Ashland. Photo taken on October 23,  2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-24-2008

Edwin H. Gott arrives Duluth

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The Edwin H. Gott came into port Wednesday morning. The Canadian Transport, the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. and the Herbert C. Jackson came in or were expected in last night. There are no arrivals set for today but all four of those boats, plus the research vessel Blue Heron, will be departing today. The Gott is loading iron ore pellets, as it usually does and is part of a year-to-date 9.8% increase in Great Lakes iron ore shipments from last year. It is seen above entering the Duluth harbor last September. Photo taken on September 10, 2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-23-2008

Adam E. Cornelius enters Duluth at sunset

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The Adam E. Cornelius is here today with limestone loaded at Port Inland, Michigan. After discharging that cargo at the CLM Lime Plant in Superior, it will move over to the CN Dock in West Duluth to load iron ore pellets. Above, it arrived last night on its 13th trip to the Twin Ports. On 7 of those trips, it loaded wheat for Buffalo; it loaded iron ore pellets on the other trips. About half the time, it brought limestone to discharge before loading those two cargos. Photo taken on October 20, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-21-2008

Indiana Harbor departs via Duluth canal

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We will have two boats arriving by way of the Duluth entry today and two boats departing using the Superior entry. The Indiana Harbor is well on its way to Ontario Power Generation in Nanticoke with a cargo of coal it loaded yesterday. It departed around 3 in the afternoon on Sunday and should be arriving at the Soo Locks sometime this afternoon. It will return here on Sunday to load another 64,000 tons of coal for Ontario Power. Photo taken on October 19,2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-20-2008

Chilly onlookers see H. Lee White depart

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The H. Lee White left under the Lift Bridge late Saturday afternoon (above) with coal for Milwaukee. It had arrived just after midnight with limestone loaded at Calcite, Michigan. The White follows a fairly regular cycle of loading taconite at Silver Bay; discharging it in Cleveland and then going to Sandusky or Toledo to load coal for River Rouge. It then returns to Silver Bay for iron ore pellets. Sometimes, as today, they get a limestone cargo to discharge in Duluth. Often, as today, they then load coal, in this case, for Milwaukee. Photo taken on October 18,2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-19-2008

Atlantic Erie departing Twin Ports

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In past years, the Atlantic Erie has come to the Twin Ports around 4 or 5 times a year. It will be here today for only the second time this season, although it will load the same cargo, coal, for the same destination, Nova Scotia Power in Sydney, Nova Scotia, as it did when it was here in June. The name reflects the vessel’s ability to work both in the Great Lakes and on the ocean. Unlike most lakers that come to Duluth, this vessel has been to places such as Spain and Holland, among many other international ports. Above, it is approaching the Lift Bridge from the Duluth harbor in August, 2001.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-18-2008

Edward L. Ryerson arrives Superior

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The Edward L. Ryerson was expected in port very early this morning. Many consider her the prettiest boat on the Great Lakes. This will be the 24th visit this season for the Ryerson and on each trip, it has loaded iron ore pellets at the Burlington Northern Santa Fe ore dock just inside the Superior entry. For 19 of the visits here, it has come in the Superior entry, as it is doing in the picture above on August 27th, 2006. On 5 visits, and likely for this one, it came under the Lift Bridge. They use the Duluth entry when they will be getting fuel at the Murphy Fuel Dock in Duluth. The boat will also have to wait for the CSL Tadoussac to complete loading at the dock. They may not have needed fuel, but with time to wait before loading cargo, that would be a good use for it.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-17-2008

Canadian Olympic enters Duluth harbor

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Yesterday, 9 boats came under the Lift Bridge. Since 1996, the biggest traffic day was September 19th, 1996 when 11 boats came under the Bridge. Eleven other days during that time, ten boats came under the Bridge. The Canadian Olympic tried to help yesterday by coming under the Lift Bridge twice, first around 1 pm (above) to get fuel. It then went back under the bridge to wait at the anchorage for its turn to load coal at Midwest Energy. It likely came in before midnight to make 10 trips under the bridge by 9 boats yesterday. Wes Harkins brought me a memo he wrote in 1949 when someone asked how many ships went under the Lift Bridge. He reported in the memo that between 9 am on June 4th and 9 am on June 6th in 1949, 55 boats came in under the bridge (47 went out under the bridge during the same time span). That would be 27 coming in each day, a bit more than the nine we had yesterday, or even the 11 on September 19th, 1996. Photo taken on October 15,2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-16-2008

Great Lakes Trader departs with Joyce

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Since 2003, there have never been more than 10 arrivals at the Duluth entry in one day. Since then we have had that many arrivals in one day 7 times. We have had 9 ships arrive in one day 9 times since 2003. Today should push that number to 10. During that time, the average number of daily ship arrivals at the Duluth entry is 3.84. Included in the mix today are two tug barges, two river class boats, two thousand footers and three boats between 730 and 770 feet long. The self-unloading barge Great Lakes Trader pushed by the tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort should be the first to arrive and may be gone by the time the sun is up.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-15-2008

Philip R. Clarke arriving Duluth

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Three thousand footers will load about 192,000 tons of western coal for lower lakes electrical power stations today. The Philip R. Clarke, seen above arriving in Duluth last November, will arrive today with a cargo of eastern coal loaded at Ashtabula. It will discharge the coal at the CLM Corporation in Superior. They operate seven lime kilns there and three of them require the eastern coal that the Clarke will be discharging. Periodically, a boat will load western coal at Midwest Energy and move it a mile or so to the CLM plant to fire up the other four kilns. Photo taken on November 22,2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-14-2008

American Century former Columbia Star

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It has been over two years since Oglebay Norton sold six vessels to American Steamship Company in Buffalo. They were the: Oglebay Norton, Columbia Star, Armco, Middletown, Courtney Burton and Fred R. White Jr. They still make regular visits. In the same order, the American Integrity was here last Wednesday, the American Century is expected today, the American Valor will be in Two Harbors today, the American Victory came in Sunday morning, the American Fortitude was here in late September and American Courage will be in Silver Bay tomorrow. Above, the Columbia Star (now the American Century) heads for the Lift Bridge on October 21st, 2001.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-13-2008

Mesabi Miner arrives for coal

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The Mesabi Miner came into port on Saturday morning at 10:07 (above) to load coal for Minnesota Power at Taconite Harbor. It likely left last night but will return late today or on Monday to load iron ore pellets. As mentioned yesterday, today is still mostly a day for loading coal but two boats slipped into the schedule with other cargo. The American Victory will be here to load iron ore pellets and the Polish owned Isadora will be here to load grain. Photo taken on October 11, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-12-2008

Algowood enters Duluth in icy water

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Four boats are expected to arrive in Duluth today. All four will load coal. Two of them are expected to depart later today. One of them, the Algowood, may be at anchor waiting to come in to load coal. On Sunday, 3 more boats will be coming under the Lift Bridge, all of them also loading coal. On Monday, 4 boats are expected in Duluth, 3 of them to load coal. The 4th, the Mesabi Miner, will take coal from here to Taconite Harbor today and will return on Monday to load iron ore pellets. Above, the Algowood was an early arrival this season, coming under the Lift Bridge on March 23rd. Photo taken on March 23, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-11-2008

Duluth gull greets Canadian Navigator

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Buoy #45004 in Eastern Lake Superior was showing winds of 31 mph with gusts to 38 mph on Thursday evening. Wave height was 11.5 feet. The buoy is located near the shipping lanes in Eastern Lake Superior. That weather will have an effect on today’s traffic in the Twin Ports, since many boats were laying up yesterday and waiting for the weather to clear. It was forecast to get better by late last night. The Canadian Navigator is one boat expected today that may be late. It was built in 1967 in Great Britain for salt water duty. After the boat was lengthened twice and the cargo capacity was increased, it was sold in 1975 to Upper Lakes Group and moved over to Great Lakes service. Several name changes followed; it became the Canadian Navigator in 1980. Above, it is coming into port in 2002. You can check the weather at buoy #45004 here: http://www.wunderground.com/MAR/buoy/45004.html
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-10-2008

Callaway brings limestone

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The Cason J. Callaway loaded limestone in Calcite, Michigan and arrived here on Wednesday (above) to discharge it at the Hallett Dock in West Duluth. It is loading iron ore pellets today and is expected to depart later in the day for Gary. Four other boats will be here today, all of them, like the Callaway, US flagged. To the end of September, we have had 15 more US flagged vessels here this season than last and 2 fewer Canadian vessels than last year. Every season is different depending upon a large variety of factors. This year, wind turbines are a big deal, grain apparently not. Most of our grain is loaded by foreign flagged vessels and we are down 56 vessel visits this season. The total vessel arrivals to September 30 is 796, last year it was 839. Photo taken on October 08, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-09-2008

J. W. Shelley, former Algocen, is here

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The J. W. Shelley came into port late Thursday afternoon on October 2nd, 2008. She is the former Algocen and was built in 1968

Adam E. Cornelius enters Duluth ship canal

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For many years, the Kinsman Independent came to the Twin Ports to load wheat at General Mills for the Frontier grain elevator in Buffalo. Then as now, it tends to be a spring and fall trip when wheat is more available. In the summer, the Kinsman just took a rest, but the Adam E. Cornelius moved to other cargos until the wheat harvest picked up in the fall. This is the 12th trip here this year for it, and the 3rd cargo of wheat so far this fall. It was here in July and August 5 times to discharge limestone and load iron ore pellets. Above, the Cornelius arrived for the first cargo of wheat this season on April 20th. 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. Photo taken on April 20, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-08-2008

Federal Saguenay gets new paint

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Four thousand-footers will arrive in the Twin Ports today. Three will load coal and one iron ore pellets. The Federal Saguenay, flying the flag of the British West Indies, arrived in port on Monday morning to load grain. The picture above shows 2 deck hands doing a little painting while the ship was here in 2005 loading grain. Salt water ships are in almost constant need of painting because of the many narrow locks they have to pass through and the salt water the ship is usually sailing in. The locks scratch off the paint when the ship comes up against the side while going through and the salt water eats away at the metal. The Welland Canal is 80 feet wide; the Federal Saguenay is 77 feet wide. The trip takes about 12 hours, providing lots of time for the ship to bump against the side of the canal.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-07-2008

James R. Barker greeted by lighthouse and visitors

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The James R. Barker will be here this afternoon to load coal for the We Energies power plant at Presque Isle, Michigan. This is the 30th trip the Barker has made to the Twin Ports this season. It loads iron ore pellets about half the time and coal the other half. About half of the coal trips are to Presque Isle. Above, the Barker is seen entering the Duluth piers in September, 2005. The Barker, built in 1976, was the third thousand footer to sail on the Great Lakes.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-06-2008

A different kind of ship comes to Duluth

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The Kent Trader arrived Duluth on October 5, 2008 with her cargo holds filled with 29 Gamesa nacelles loaded in Spain. For many years, salt water ships visiting Duluth have had their superstructure (pilot house and crew quarters, office and galley) at the stern of the ship. You will note in the picture above that the superstructure on the Kent Trader is in the middle. I am told this ship, built in 1986 at 403 feet long, was built for loading rolled paper but no one on board could remember when it last carried that cargo. Nor have they ever seen another ship like it except for a sister ship to this one. Fourteen nacelles were loaded behind the pilot house and 15 more nacelles were loaded in front of it.
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The nacelle above is being pulled from the cargo hold of the ship by the 2 Port Terminal gantry cranes (see below). They  slowly brought it over the side of the ship for placement on a waiting trailer for transport to another area of the Port Terminal.
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Kent Trader has unusual design

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The Kent Trader came under the Lift Bridge on Friday night with its cargo holds filled with 29 nacelles loaded in Spain. All salt water ships that bring wind turbine parts here have until now had all cargo holds in front of a stern mounted superstructure where the pilot house, crew quarters, office and galley are. In fact, all salt water ships that have come here for many, many years were built like that. You will note in the picture above that the superstructure on the Kent Trader is in the middle. Fourteen nacelles were loaded behind the pilot house and the other 15 were loaded in front of it. I am told this ship, built in 1986 at 403 feet long, was built for loading rolled paper but no one on board could remember when it last carried that cargo. Nor have they ever seen another ship like it except for a sister ship to this one. Photo taken on October 04, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-05-2008

Orsula at anchor

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The Orsula should be at anchor off the Duluth piers as the sun comes up. It is waiting for the Quebecois to finish loading grain at the CHS terminal in Superior. In the picture above, the Croatian flagged ship is at anchor in September, 2006. This is the 15th trip the ship has made to the Twin Ports since 1996, the year it was built as the Federal Calumet. In 1998, it became the Orsula. Photo taken on September 03, 2006
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-04-2008

More wind turbine equipment for Duluth

kenttrader2008Oct04_3446 The Kent Trader arrived Duluth on Friday night, October 3rd. On Saturday morning, Lake Superior Warehousing began to discharge the cargo of 29 Gamesa nacelles loaded in Spain. The morning started out with a heavy fog but it soon cleared. The nacelle above has just been pulled from the cargo hold of the ship and the 2 gantry cranes are slowing bringing it over the side of the ship for placement on a waiting trailer for transport to another area of the Port Terminal.

J.W. Shelley here for second time

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In December, 2004, I wrote that the Algocen was making its last trip to Duluth. After leaving here on December 18th, it arrived in Montreal and was sold to a company called Recycling Technologies, not a good sign. It was then towed to New Jersey to be used as a spoils storage barge, also not a good sign. Just in the nick of time, it was then sold to a Canadian company and brought back to the Great Lakes, rehabilitated and most notably, repainted a very bright blue. Now sailing as the J. W. Shelley, it came back to the Twin Ports last night to load grain and had actually been here once earlier this year to do the same. Photo taken on October 02, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-03-2008

Callaway departs with iron ore pellets

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The Cason J. Callaway loaded limestone in Calcite, Michigan and arrived here on Tuesday to discharge it at the Hallett Dock in West Duluth. It then loaded iron ore pellets and departed the port yesterday afternoon (above) for Gary. The Joseph L. Block also came in with limestone on Tuesday and will depart today with iron ore pellets. After discharging wind turbine parts at the start of the week, the Asiaborg will probably depart today with grain. Photo taken on October 01, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-02-2008

Asiaborg discharges nacelles and hubs

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On Monday and Tuesday, longshoremen at the Port Terminal discharged 37 wind turbine nacelles from the Asiaborg, each with a hub attached. Together, they will sit at the top of the finished wind turbine. The nacelle, with the company name, Acciona on it, holds the machinery for the wind turbine; the hub will hold the 3 blades. They are together for the trip over from Spain only because it was easier to load the ship that way. The piece as you see it will not fit on the truck that will soon carry each piece to wind farms in Montana, Oklahoma and Illinois. The piece in the picture will be taken to another area of the Port Terminal where it will be taken apart. The hubs will not necessarily be reunited with the nacelles they came with. Once separated, they are just interchangeable parts. Eighteen of the nacelles and 18 of the hubs will be taken to Illinois and 18 of each will go to Oklahoma; one pair will go to Montana. The special rigging just above the nacelle was sent here by Acciona just for lifting these pieces. Photo taken on September 30, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-01-2008