Season to begin with the Alder on March 10th and the James R. Barker on the 18th.

The Alder announced their initial plans for the new season. See just below, dated March 5, 2009

The U.S. Coast Guard will be commencing icebreaking operations in and around Duluth/Superior Harbor on 10 March 2009. Areas of operation include Superior Entry, Superior Front Channel in vicinity of Barker’s Island, St. Louis Bay between Richard Bong Memorial Bridge and John A. Blatnik Bridge, and approaches to Duluth and Superior Harbor Entries.

The Coast Guard would like to remind all recreational users to plan their activities carefully, use caution on the ice, and stay away from shipping channels. Attempting to approach or cross over areas of ice broken by the Coast Guard could result in dangerous or life-threatening situations. Also, operations outside the port will disrupt the ice offshore in Lake Superior making it more susceptible to drifting.

Commander Kevin Wirth expects to break out from the Alder’s winter moorings at their dock on Park Point at 8:30 on the morning of March 10th.  They will also scout the offshore ice to determine thickness and coverage. They should return the next day, probably using the Superior entry again.
They will likely return to their moorings sometime later on Tuesday, March 10th. The first commercial shipping activity for the Twin Ports is expected to be the departure of the James R. Barker on March 29th.


  1. Scott M, Centerville, MN says:


    Do you know if the Barker is leaving on the 18th?

    Thanks, Scott

  2. I see the Lee Tregurtha’s tentative sailing date has been removed from the schedule and the James R. Barker’s pushed back. Looks like the American Victory and Kaye E. Barker aren’t due to sail this season and the St. Clair might not either. I wouldn’t be surprised if the American Spirit stays at the wall too. It’ll be a slow and delayed start to the season, which might be ok given the ice situation. Ice data shows Lake Superior at about 85 – 90% coverage; depending on how the melt/breakup goes, there could be some tough ice fields to deal with if boats try to sail early.

    It would be cool to see the Ryerson load at CN in Duluth – her last visit there was in the summer of 1998. She’s supposedly going to be running from BNSF in Superior to Hamilton, ON this season, so a trip to the ore dock in Duluth might be a rare one.

  3. Allen Wrage says:

    be interested to hear how the ice breaking went ??
    I`m from Waterloo Ia. as I was there last summer & enjoyed

  4. BD from Fargo ND says:

    Great websites….I check them both on a daily basis….hey is there anywhere you can see or watch the Superior entrance/exit? Just curious

  5. I agree with Robin…it’ll be a great blog. I like to keep track of Duluth shipping from here in Rochester and this will be a fine way to do it. Thanks!

  6. I think this is going to be great…
    I am looking forward to the start of the shipping season…summer is on the way.
    I like all the pictures that you have posted her as well as the ones that have been on the Duluth Shipping News site…
    I take pictures from time to time and I will e-mail any I get that are good…if you can use them that would be great if not that’s ok too.

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