Archives for December 2008

Munson shrouded in ice and fog

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It is the time of year when any prediction of a boat’s arrival time needs to include the words,’weather permitting.’ On the other hand, weather isn’t always so bad as the picture above demonstrates. That was back on Christmas Eve, 2004 and the John G. Munson was coming in through the Duluth ship canal, decked out in a bright shiny coat of ice with a healthy batch of fog around it. Good coats of ice are often available to a boat when it is moving into a strong, cold wind that splashes the cold water into the air ahead of the boat and then, as the water turns to ice in the cold air, gently drops it onto the bow of the boat. Such was probably the case for the Munson as it pushed through Lake Superior last night, on the way to load iron ore pellets for Gary at the CN dock in West Duluth. It should have arrived earlier this morning, weather permitting.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-31-2008

Aerial Lift Bridge frames John B. Aird

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The next two boats to load coal at Midwest Energy are named John B. Aird. And the boat that probably left the coal dock at Midwest Energy last night was also the John B. Aird. It is expected back here today from Thunder Bay to take on another load of coal for Thunder Bay, both loads going to Ontario Power Generation. That done, it will be back here again to load coal at Midwest. This trip will be the last time the Aird will be in the Twin Ports this season. Today’s coal cargo will go to Ontario Power Generation in Nanticoke. Above, the Aird came under the Lift Bridge two weeks ago on December 15th.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-30-2008

John B. Aird arriving Duluth ship canal

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The John B. Aird was probably loading coal at Midwest Energy Resources as the sun came up this morning and if so, it will likely be leaving not long after that. It will take about 30,000 tons of coal to Ontario Power Generation in Nanticoke. The Canadian flagged Aird was constructed in 1983 of two sections, a stern section constructed at Collingwood Shipyards of Collingwood, Ontario and a bow section built by Port Arthur Shipyards in Thunder Bay. The entire vessel was then assembled at Thunder Bay. Photo taken January 12, 2006
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-29-2008

St. Clair coming to Twin Ports for winter

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The St. Clair arrived in port on Saturday afternoon (above) for winter layup at Fraser Shipyards in Superior. It joins the Edward L. Ryerson and the American Victory there. The Kaye E. Barker will be the last to arrive at the Shipyard for the winter. The American Spirit is at layup at the Enbridge Dock. Later in the afternoon, the Indiana Harbor arrived in port for winter layup. It is at Port Terminal berth #1. We are still waiting on the John G. Munson, Edwin H. Gott, Edgar B. Speer, Walter J. McCarthy Jr., James R. Barker and Kaye E. Barker. Those in port are earlier than usual and that fact reflects the economy’s difficulties at present. Photo taken on December 27, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-28-2008

Lee A. Tregurtha passes North Pier Light

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The Paul R. Tregurtha came into port on Friday morning and waited at the Port Terminal for the James R. Barker to complete loading coal at Midwest Energy. The Great Lakes Trader also arrived on Friday and spent a good part of the day waiting in the St. Louis River for the Mesabi Miner to finish loading iron ore pellets at the CN dock in West Duluth. Then, last night around 6 pm, the James R. Barker finished at Midwest and departed. Across the river at the CN dock, the Mesabi Miner finished loading iron ore pellets and departed. The Paul R. waited at the Port Terminal while the Barker and the Miner passed him buy on the way out and with a tug assist, went into the St. Louis River to load coal at Midwest Energy. The Great Lakes Trader had already moved into the CN dock to load iron ore pellets. The Lee A. Tregurtha, seen above entering the Duluth ship canal last January, watched all this from its anchorage just beyond the Duluth piers. It will eventually replace the Trader at the CN dock. Photo taken on January 11, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-27-2008

Munson with nice Duluth sky backdrop

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Lately, we have had a number of boats, particularly the Kaye E. Barker, loading coal here for quick trips to Lake Superior ports such as Taconite Harbor, Silver Bay and Marquette. Today the John G. Munson will be here to first discharge limestone at Graymont’s Superior Plant, previously called CLM (Cutler-Magner), just east of the Blatnik Bridge before going to load coal at Midwest Energy, just west of the Blatnik Bridge. The Munson will then return to the Graymont Plant to discharge the coal there where it will be used in kilns that take limestone and create a variety of lime products. Above, the Munson is seen departing the port last June 28, 2008.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-26-2008

Anderson gets bird escort

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The Arthur M. Anderson came into port Tuesday afternoon at 4:15, alarming a lot of birds in the process (above). It stopped at the Port Terminal to wait for the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. to complete loading coal for Detroit Edison. That should have happened last night, leaving the dock at Midwest Energy open for the Anderson to move in to load a cargo of coal for Presque Isle, Michigan. Photo taken on December 23, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-24-2008

Edgar B. Speer needed help departing

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It took a community effort on Monday afternoon to get the Edgar B. Speer out of the harbor and into Lake Superior with a cargo of iron ore pellets for Gary (above). Earlier, the Coast Guard cutter Alder established tracks in the shipping channels for the Speer, the Kaye E. Barker and the Roger Blough. The tug Edward H. was also breaking ice for both the Speer and the Bough. The Alder left for Thunder Bay last night to break ice in their harbor but should be back sometime today, where it appears it will be needed. Photo taken on December 22, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-23-2008

McCarthy Jr. enters harbor under Aerial Lift Bridge

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The season’s last salt water ship, the Beluga Revolution, departed the port on Friday evening. That means no more wind turbines or grain. Coal and iron ore pellets will make up most of the cargo that will be departing the port for the rest of the season, which will probably continue until January 20th or so. The Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. will be here today to load coal at Midwest Energy Resources. Above, it is seen coming into port in May of this year. Photo taken on May 23, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-22-2008

Canadian Transport arrives in snow for coal

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Saturday afternoon, the Canadian Transport came into port to load coal (above). After waiting a couple hours for the Mesabi Miner to finish loading coal at Midwest Energy Resources, it moved in to replace the Miner at the coal dock. For the Miner, this was its 50th trip to the Twin Ports this season; it is only the 18th for the Transport. The Miner, a thousand footer, loaded 58,000 tons of coal for Presque Isle, on the south shore of Lake Superior. The Transport, at 730 feet, loaded 30,000 tons of coal for Ontario Power Generation in Nanticoke. Photo taken on December 20, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-21-2008

Edgar B. Speer departs Duluth canal

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Three boats, the Edward L. Ryerson, the American Spirit and the American Victory are already in port for winter lay up. The Spirit is at the Lakehead Pipeline dock in Superior; the Ryerson and the Victory are at Fraser Shipyards, also in Superior. The Edgar B. Speer is arriving today after discharging a cargo of iron ore pellets in Gary. It will load more iron ore pellets here and then return to Gary for discharge. It is seen above departing Duluth for Gary this past August. Photo taken on August 25, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-20-2008

Beluga Revolution at Port Terminal

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There was a lot of activity in the port yesterday. Some of it will spill over to today. We are not expecting any arrivals at the Duluth or Superior entry today, but 4 boats should be departing. The Beluga Revolution finally made it over to CHS to load spring wheat for Great Britain. The ship had to wait about a week before loading the outbound cargo. It does make it the last salt water ship of the season, a dubious distinction at the least. The picture above shows the Beluga Revolution waiting at the port terminal next to crane number one. The picture was taken on Thursday afternoon; later in the evening it went to CHS in Superior to load the wheat for Great Britain. Photo taken on December 18, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-19-2008

Alder comes home

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The Coast Guard cutter Alder came home for winter on Wednesday, bringing some extra ice with it (above). The cutter and the crew are ready to break ice in the harbor when needed. At CHS in Superior, the Romanian crew on the Tatjana should complete loading spring wheat some time today. They will depart the CHS dock for Italy, leaving it open for the last foreign flagged ship of the season, the Beluga Revolution. It arrived on December 12th with the parts to two cranes that will eventually go to Alberta. They will load spring wheat for Great Britain. For pictures of the discharge at the Port Terminal, you can go to: http://www.lswci.com/belugarevolution2008.html
Photo taken on December 17, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-18-2008

John D. Leitch departs Twin Ports

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The Canadian flagged John D. Leitch, seen above departing Duluth last May, is expected to arrive today for the 6th time this season. On each trip, as today, it loaded coal for Ontario Power Generation in Nanticoke. Before 2001, it was known as the Canadian Century. In that year, its cargo hold was enlarged when a new midsection was installed. It was then renamed to its current name. It was rebuilt specifically to do what it is doing today, taking coal to Ontario Power Generation in Nanticoke. It may drop anchor off the Duluth piers since it will have to wait for the American Mariner, the Kaye E. Barker and the Indiana Harbor to load coal at Midwest Energy. Photo taken on May 15, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-17-2008

John B. Aird makes grand entrance

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After a day waiting at anchor off the Duluth piers, the John B. Aird came under the Lift Bridge Monday afternoon at 3:30 (above). It was the 10th trip the Canadian flagged vessel has made to the Twin Ports this season. As it did on the previous 9 visits, it is loading coal at Midwest Energy Resources for Thunder Bay. Once inside, it had to wait for the American Integrity to complete loading coal, probably around 8 pm last night. No salt water ship has left the port later than December 20th since at least 1996, but after the Federal Manitou finishes loading durum wheat at CHS sometime today, the Beluga Revolution will follow. The Tatjana, still out in the lake, also needs to load spring wheat at CHS so it can start the 1,154 mile trip to the Atlantic Ocean and then to Italy before the locks in the Seaway close for the winter. Photo taken on December 15, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-16-2008