Archives for January 2009

Alder going out to clear a path

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The Coast Guard cutter Alder was back from an ice breaking trip to Thunder Bay on Thursday morning. Above, it is seen departing the Twin Ports for the trip to Thunder Bay on Monday. It will be out just after first light today to assist the Edwin H. Gott and the Edgar B. Speer into their layup berths at the Port Terminal. Both boats may be at anchor waiting for the Alder to clear the ship channel in the harbor. The Speer and the Gott will be the 11th and 12th boats to arrive in port for winter layup, and they will be the last boat traffic for the season. Photo taken on January 15, 2009
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-16-2009

St. Clair at Fraser for winter layup

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This is the first day all season there is no ship traffic in the Twin Ports. The Edwin H. Gott and the Edgar B. Speer were expected but ice has slowed them down. They are through the Soo Locks and should be out on the lake by now. They are expected here very early on Friday morning. The Speer and the Gott will spend the winter at berths at the Port Terminal. Fraser Shipyards has five boats for the winter, one of which is the St. Clair (above). It is out by itself with the rest of Fraser Shipyards behind it and the Blatnik Bridge directly ahead. Photo taken on January 14, 2009
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-15-2009

Kaye E. & Lee A. close friends for winter

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As of Tuesday evening, the Edwin H. Gott and the Edgar B. Speer were slowly making their way through the ice together, still below the Soo but making progress. They were not using any tug or Coast Guard assist but that could change as they head into the St. Mary’s River. The Canadian cutter Samuel Risley is ahead of them in the river, a good sign since the Risley is a very good ice breaker. Meanwhile, back in the Twin Ports, ten of the 12 winter layup boats are in port. The Gott and the Speer will be the last traffic under the bridge for this season. Above the Kaye E. Barker and the Lee A. Tregurtha are safely in port over at Fraser Shipyards in Superior. Photo taken on January 13, 2009
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-14-2009

Atlantic Huron arrives Duluth passing the Rear Range Light

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The Alder left for Thunder Bay around 11:30 Monday morning. Shortly after that, the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin left for Nanticoke, leaving the CN dock free for the Atlantic Huron. It had been waiting at anchor before coming in around 12:30 Monday afternoon (above). The CSL Niagara was set to arrive today for iron ore pellets, but that might be canceled. If so, the two remaining arrivals are the Edwin H. Gott and the Edgar B. Speer. They are both moving very slowly in the vicinity of the Lansing Shoal Light in northern Lake Michigan, just below the Soo. As of Monday evening, the cutter Katmai Bay was on the way to help out. The Gott and Speer were due here Wednesday afternoon and could still make it. Photo taken on January 12, 2009
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-13-2009

Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin arrives Duluth

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The world here is slowly falling into place. The Alder came back from Thunder Bay. The last cargo of coal has left Midwest Energy Resources so the James R. Barker moved in for winter lay up after coming over from a temporary berth at the Port Terminal. And the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin arrived on Sunday afternoon (above) for its last cargo of iron ore pellets. Two more Canadian flagged lakers are still expected here to load iron ore pellets before the season ends. Photo taken on January 11, 2009
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-12-2009

Indiana Harbor and McCarthy docked for winter layup

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The days are getting colder and the end of the shipping season is getting closer. Last year, the Mesabi Miner was the last boat to come in under the bridge for winter layup, arriving on January 21st. This year, it looks like next Wednesday will be the last day of the season. The Edgar B. Speer and Edwin H. Gott are expected in for layup on Tuesday, and the CSL Niagara is still set to arrive that day for iron ore pellets. It would likely depart on Wednesday, January 13th, a week and a day sooner than last season. All of this depends upon the weather, and the temperatures will be very cold at the beginning of the week. Above, the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. (left) and the Indiana Harbor (right) know enough to come in out of the cold. They are safely encrusted in ice in layup at the Port Terminal. Photo taken on January 10, 2009
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-11-2009

Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin takes coal to Thunder Bay

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The Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin arrived in the Twin Ports on Friday morning at 2:55 to pick up Midwest Energy Resources’ last load of coal for the season. It left for Thunder Bay on Friday afternoon at 3:15 (above). The Coast Guard cutter Alder was also out in the harbor Friday clearing the shipping lanes to give the Martin some help getting through the ice. The Samuel Risley, Canada’s best ice breaker, had been breaking ice at Thunder Bay but was called down to the rivers below the Soo Locks for ice breaking duties. When that happened, the Alder was assigned to Thunder Bay (as well as Duluth/Superior). It left last night and will escort the Martin into the coal dock there and then return to Duluth to break ice for several boats including the Martin which is returning for one more trip to the Twin Ports, this time for iron ore pellets. It is expected here on Sunday. Late Sunday, the Martin will leave for Nanticoke, but that will not relieve the Alder of more work in Thunder Bay. It will return there early next week for more ice breaking for another boat expected there. Photo taken on January 09, 2009
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-10-2009

James R. Barker ready to rest

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The James R. Barker is seen above as it moved through the Duluth harbor yesterday during its 49th and last arrival of the season. After some repairs at the Port Terminal, it will move over to Midwest Energy Resources for the winter. The Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin was expected in port earlier this morning. It is getting the last coal cargo at Midwest Energy Resources and will leave sometime today for Thunder Bay. At 740 feet, it and its sister boat, CSL Niagara, are the two longest boats ever built for the St. Lawrence Seaway. The Niagara will be here for iron ore pellets early next week and is expected to be the last departure of the season. Photo taken on January 08, 2009
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-09-2009

Icy Munson passes Duluth North Pier Light

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The Lee A. Tregurtha arrived in port yesterday for winter layup. It is the 8th boat that has arrived for layup so far. Four more are expected; the James R. Barker and the John G. Munson should arrive today. The Munson is seen above coming in for winter layup on January 20th, 2004. The last two, the Edgar B. Speer and the Edwin H. Gott, are now expected next Tuesday. Right now, the CSL Niagara is scheduled for next Tuesday also but it will load iron ore pellets. It is my third guess for the last boat out.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-08-2009

Lee A. Tregurtha joins the layup crowd

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Yesterday, I corrected the information I wrote here the day before. Today, I will correct yesterday’s information. In my defense, the nature of shipping on Lake Superior in January is not very predictable. Ice conditions and this year’s economic issues are likely impacting shipper decisions. The Canadian Enterprise will not be here for coal. As it stands now the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin will take the last load of coal out of the port on Thursday. The good news for the area is the addition of the Lee A. Tregurtha to the port’s winter layup list. It is expected today. It is seen above in February during last year’s winter layup at Fraser Shipyards. That brings their total to 5 boats for the winter and the port’s total to 12. The addition to the list of winter layups means more revenue for local companies that work on the boats in the winter. More boats mean more work. Photo taken on February 22, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-07-2009

Gott getting turned in Duluth harbor

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I made an assumption yesterday that so far will be wrong. I said that since the James R. Barker will be spending the winter at the Midwest Energy Resources coal dock, it would be the last boat to arrive for winter lay up. That is the way it has usually gone. However, the Canadian Enterprise still wants coal and is now scheduled to arrive in port to load that coal on Sunday, while the Barker is due back on Thursday. Selling coal trumps spending the winter resting, so the Barker will likely find a spot to wait at the Port Terminal for the Enterprise to finish before moving over to Midwest. The Enterprise will then pick up the award as both the last arrival and departure of the season. One more assumption based on past experience. The Barker will be the first boat to load coal at Midwest Energy in March when the new season opens. No traffic here today but Two Harbors is hosting Edwin (H. Gott) and Edgar (B. Speer), both loading iron ore pellets. Above the Gott is seen entering the harbor on September 10, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-06-2009

James R. Barker in for one last load

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The James R. Barker returned to the Twin Ports on Sunday afternoon (above) to get one more cargo of coal, this one for We-Energies in Marquette. When it returns, later in the week, it will be for good, or at least for the next two months. The Barker will spend the winter at a familiar spot, the Midwest Energy Resources coal dock in Superior where it has been loading coal for many years. While it is gone, the Canadian Enterprise is expected in to get the last shipment of coal for the year, and it will probably be the last departure of the year when it departs under the Lift Bridge. When the Barker returns, it will probably be the last arrival of the season. Photo taken on January 04, 2009
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-05-2009

Paul R. departs Duluth for last time this season

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The Paul R. Tregurtha came into port to load coal at Midwest Energy Resources at 1:51 Friday morning, as was mentioned here yesterday. It finally left the port with coal for Detroit Edison power plants in St. Clair, Michigan at 3 pm on Saturday (above), about 36 hours later. Its average time in port this past year was 13.2 hours, and that includes waiting and taking on fuel. On this trip, delays were caused by very large clumps of frozen coal. When encountered, the ship loader was stopped until the coal was broken up. Captain Tim Dayton was happy to be on his way since this is the last trip of the year. Dayton will guide his boat and crew to the Soo Locks, then down the system of rivers leading to Lake Huron and then into the Detroit River and St. Clair. After the last coal delivery to St. Clair, he will retrace his trip to just below the Soo Locks and then turn into Lake Michigan and on to Sturgeon Bay for winter layup. Next stop for Dayton is his home in Florida. Photo taken on January 03, 2009
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-04-2009

Roger Blough leaves Twin Ports

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The Paul R. Tregurtha came into port to load coal at Midwest Energy Resources at 1:51 Friday morning. In the cold weather, it was slow going. By morning, the Tregurtha was still loading and the line for coal at Midwest extended into the outside anchorage with the John B. Aird anchored close in and the Canadian Enterprise farther out. The Roger Blough departed the port with iron ore pellets around 2 pm (above). You can see the Aird just beyond the South Pier light off the stern of the Blough. The Canadian Enterprise is out there but not seen in this picture. Shortly after the Blough departed, the Aird came in and went over to Midwest and took up a position in the St. Louis River just behind the Tregurtha. With the season running short and ice approaching from all directions, every minute counts and the Aird wanted to be ready to move in to the dock as soon as the Tregurtha departed. Photo taken on January 02, 2009
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-03-2009

Atlantic Huron departs Duluth for Thunder Bay

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The Atlantic Huron came into port at 4:37 on Thursday morning, the first boat of the new year, but only one of the last boats of the current season. Usually the last boat goes under the Bridge around January 20th. Ice conditions may bring us an earlier close this season. The name Atlantic Huron reflects its dual capabilities of working in the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean, although on this trip it only took coal to Thunder Bay, leaving Thursday afternoon at 3:02 (above). Photo taken on January 01, 2009
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-02-2009