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

Federal Manitou gets tug escort on entry

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The blizzard, and particularly the high winds, has not been kind to the boats that were here for serious work or intending to be here. The line up yesterday for Midwest Energy extended out into Lake Superior. The John B. Aird dropped anchor yesterday close to Two Harbors. The Kaye E. Barker was at the Port Terminal and the American Integrity was farther out in the lake. The Federal Manitou was delayed at Port Huron yesterday but was expected to clear the Soo Locks last night. That should put the ship at the Twin Ports this evening. It will load spring wheat at CHS for a port in Africa. Photo taken August 28, 2005. [In 2011, Federal Manitou was renamed Lake Ontario]
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-15-2008

Beluga Revolution gives up cargo to gantry cranes

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The heavy lift Beluga Revolution was originally expected here on November 28th, but didn’t arrive until Friday, December 12th, 14 days later than originally expected but just in time for a blizzard. In the cargo hold of the ship were two, identical 440 ton Terex cranes, specifically the Terex 2400. Actually, there were 94 components in the hold, 46 for each crane, that were lifted from the ship’s hold. The 2 Port Authority gantry cranes did the heavy lifting to move the crane parts out of the cargo hold and onto waiting trucks. After finishing late Friday night, workers were back early Saturday morning. Blizzards have a way of focusing one’s attention. Longshoremen from Lake Superior Warehousing are home today, but the ship went or will go to CHS in Superior to load wheat. Above, you see one of the pieces just coming out of the cargo hold. It was placed onto the waiting truck that took it to another part of the Port Terminal. The two cranes will eventually be taken, by truck, to an oil sands project in Alberta where they will be assembled. Photo taken on December 13, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-14-2008

Kaye E. Barker makes short runs

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The Kaye E. Barker departed Duluth on Friday afternoon (above) with a cargo of coal for Taconite Harbor. It will be back this afternoon to load coal again, this time to take to Marquette, Michigan, on the south shore of Lake Superior. It will be the 16th trip to the Twin Ports the Barker has made this season, more than double the number of the last 10 years. Many of those trips, like today, were ‘local’ runs to Lake Superior ports. Photo taken on December 12, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-13-2008

St. Clair here, gone, and back again

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The St. Clair came into port on Thursday afternoon (above) to load coal for Silver Bay. It was expected to depart earlier this morning. It will return around noon today to load coal for Ontario Power Generation in Nanticoke. The Dutch owned and operated Loireborg was expected to come in from the anchorage last night to load beet pulp pellets. It replaced the Kwintebank at General Mills in Duluth. It also loaded beet pulp pellets. Photo taken on December 11, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-12-2008

Canadian Transport here to load coal

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The newly built Loireborg arrived off the Duluth piers last night and dropped anchor to wait for the berth at General Mills. Just before the Loireborg appeared, the Canadian Transport arrived (above) in port to load coal at Midwest Energy Resources. The American Spirit was due early this morning and will likely become third boat to lay up for winter. The Edward L. Ryerson and the American Victory are already here for layup, both at Fraser Shipyards in Superior. Photo taken on December 10, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-11-2008

Kwintebank leaving Twin Ports harbor

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Since 1996, the latest departure date for the last salt water ship of the year is December 20, 1997 when the Lake Ontario had the honors. The 19th was the last salt water departure in both 2003 and 2005. In five of the years, the last ship left on the 18th. This has not been a good year for salt water traffic in the Twin Ports. Last year, we had 150 foreign flagged ships through November; this year only 63. Last December, we only had 8 salt water ships in December. If the arrivals mentioned below do not change, we will have only 6 this December. Two salties are due today, both loading beet pulp pellets. One should be here Friday, and 2 may arrive on Saturday, the 13th. The Federal Rhine, due next Monday, the 15th, is a likely candidate to be the last salt water ship of the year, but that can easily change. Today the Loireborg, built this year, will be here and the Kwintebank, seen above in 2002 will also arrive.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-10-2008

Irma departs Duluth with grain

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The Polish operated Irma, seen above leaving port in May, 2002, came in at 8 am on Monday after spending a day or so at anchor off the Duluth piers. It is the 8th visit to the Twin Ports for the 655 foot long freighter that was built in 2000. It is now loading durum wheat most likely brought here from North Dakota. When they complete loading the wheat, probably later today, they will depart the port for Algeria where the wheat is often used to make couscous, a dish that can include a variety of other ingredients including lamb, beef and vegetables.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-09-2008

Joseph H. Thompson kicks up some ice fog

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The tug barge Joseph H. Thompson departed Duluth on Sunday morning sending some birds from the thin ice into the air. With a cargo of iron ore pellets in the barge, it was completing its 23rd trip here this season. It was only here 15 times last year and 5 the year before that. When it moved out of the ship canal and into Lake Superior, the crew no doubt saw the Polish owned Irma at anchor, a sight we have not seen much this season. No other boats were active in the port. Late last night, the Kaye E. Barker was expected to pass by the Irma on its way to Midwest Energy Resources to load coal for Marquette. The Irma was expected to come in at first light this morning. Photo taken on December 07, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-08-2008

Paul R. Tregurtha here for coal again

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The Paul R. Tregurtha came into port on Saturday afternoon (above) to load 64,000 tons of western coal for Detroit Edison. This is the 46th trip the boat has made to the Twin Ports this season, loading coal each time and taking most of it to Detroit Edison in St. Clair, Michigan. In the years 2004 through 2007, it made 61, 57, 59 and 58 trips here respectively. With the season ending in mid January, it will not get that many this season. At about a trip a week, it may have only 6 or 7 more left. In part, the lower number was caused by some ice damage to the Tregurtha very early in the season. That was repaired here before picking up the first load of coal. It has, like other boats, probably had to wait for a berth at the coal dock a little more this season than in other years, perhaps because Midwest Energy will load a record number of tons this season. They shipped a monthly record 2,665,538 tons in August. Photo taken on December 06, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-07-2008

James R. Barker departs under Aerial Lift Bridge

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The James R. Barker departed under the Lift Bridge on Friday afternoon with 58,000 tons of coal for the We Energies power plant in Marquette, Michigan. It will return on Monday to load another 58,000 tons for Detroit Edison at St. Clair, Michigan. There has been a long tradition of Polish operated ships coming to Duluth with Polish crews, but not this year. The Irma, owned by the Polish Steamship Company, will be here today for the first time this season. It will drop anchor off the Duluth piers and come in on Monday morning around 6 am to load durum wheat for Algeria. Photo taken on December 05, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-06-2008

Adam E. Cornelius exits icy Duluth harbor

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The Adam E. Cornelius arrived on Thursday morning at 7:10 to load wheat for the Frontier grain elevator in Buffalo. That is work that was handled by the Kinsman Independent for many years and then for a time by the Joseph H. Frantz. The Frantz was scrapped and the Kinsman Independent was headed to the scrap yard but before that could happen, it was purchased by Voyageur Marine Transport and put back into service as the Voyageur Independent. It has been back to Duluth under that name but does not carry wheat to Buffalo anymore. The Cornelius was built as the Roger M. Kyes in 1973 and was chartered to Inland Steel for many years. Since 1998, it has sailed for American Steamship Company in Buffalo and carries a wide variety of cargos. This is the boat’s 15th trip here this season. It is seen above plowing through ice in the Duluth harbor as it was departing on April 11th, 2007. Photo taken on April 11, 2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-05-2008

Indiana Harbor cook Maccine Moore

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The Indiana Harbor came into port on Wednesday morning at 2:43 to load coal. Maccine Moore was probably still asleep but it wasn’t long before she was up and into the galley of the boat to start the day’s baking. That’s what she does on the boat, and she has been doing it with American Steamship for 5 years. She also put in some time on a tug or two. Born in West Point, Mississippi, she now goes home to Dolton, Illinois, just outside of Chicago. Above, she is preparing the salad bar in the officer’s mess on Wednesday morning. Maccine and the rest of the crew departed Duluth around 3:45 Wednesday afternoon. On the boat it was 4:45; dinner was about done and Maccine was about done with her work for the day. Photo taken on December 03, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-04-2008

Faithful fans of Edgar B. Speer

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Three thousand footers will be in port today to load coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior. Two smaller boats will also try to get a spot in the lineup. It is likely we will see at least one and maybe more boats at anchor off the Duluth piers. The Edgar B. Speer will be here for the 10th time this season, loading iron ore pellets for Gary, Indiana. Above, the Speer is seen coming into port in January, 2005, cold and icy but still attracting some hearty boatwatchers.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-03-2008

Kaye E. Barker enters icy Duluth canal

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Winter weather is not kind to ship arrival and departure times. It is a little early for ice problems but two boats expected yesterday should be here today instead (the Kaye E. Barker, seen above entering the Duluth piers last December, and the Canadian Olympic). The St. Clair was expected back from Silver Bay to load another cargo of coal for Silver Bay, but instead it left here yesterday with coal for Ontario Power Generation in Nanticoke. The Canadian Olympic and Kaye E. Barker are still loading coal and they will slow down the two thousand footers that are behind them on Lake Superior. The American Integrity was expected around noon which would put it in line after the two boats above. The Indiana Harbor was behind the Integrity and we may see it at anchor off the Duluth piers waiting for the boats in front to get their coal and depart. The pile up here for coal might be why the St. Clair was rerouted. Shipping companies do not like to have their fleet standing around waiting in line.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-02-2008

Algowood departing Twin Ports

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The Mesabi Miner came into port on Sunday morning to load iron ore pellets. It likely departed very early this morning. Today, four other boats are expected to arrive in port to load coal, but they may all arrive sometime this evening. Most of the coal loaded at Midwest Energy goes into the big thousand footers, but the four boats expected today are quite a bit shorter than that. Two of the boats fly the Canadian flag; they are both 730 feet, allowing them to navigate the Welland Canal. Few US boats need to go there and most of them could not because of the 740 foot limit. The Kaye E. Barker is 767 feet wide and the St. Clair is only 3 feet longer. One of the Canadian boats, the Algowood, is seen above departing the port in 2002.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-01-2008