Archives for July 2009

Waiting in the river for a dock

algolake20090731_0068PROD The Algolake (above) came under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge at 6:17 this morning (Friday, July 31, 2009). She then moved up the Duluth harbor and made a turn so she could back into the St. Louis River, going under the Blatnik Bridge first and then finding a  spot to wait just in front of the Bong Bridge, a mile or so up the river. She was waiting for the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. (below) to complete loading coal at the Midwest Energy Resources coal dock in Superior.

Two ways to look at the Clelia II

The cruise ship Clelia visits DuluthThe Clelia II will be back early Saturday morning with a new group of passengers who boarded in Toronto and will get off here, after which a new group will board here for Toronto, leaving Duluth late Saturday afternoon. It is a one week trip each way. The cruise ship will be back in two weeks for her 4th of 6 trips here this summer.

Early in the morning of July 18, I was driving madly toward the Lift Bridge so I could get over it before it went up for the approaching cruise ship Clelia. I wanted to have the sun behind me, like it always is when you are on the Park Point side of the ship canal. As soon as I parked my car, and ran out to the ship canal and then to the South Pier light at the end of the south pier, I noticed something strange, the sun was on the wrong side, I was facing the sun. I knew these were bad times but I hadn’t heard that anyone was moving the sun around.

I of course realize now one of the things that happens every summer, in fact, it is the reason we have summer; the sun reaches further to the north, giving us summer and giving Australia winter. Well, live and learn; I tried to make the best of it, and took a lot of pictures anyway.

While I was chasing the sun in the wrong direction, Nina Padden was just waking up in her room at the Sheraton Hotel. Nina is a tour manager for Travel Dynamics International, owners of the Clelia and she had flown in to join the ship in Duluth.

I found out later that day, when Nina was giving a group a tour of the ship, that she is one incredible person, and is certainly the best tour manager in the world. As befits such a person, that morning, she jumped out of bed, put on her running clothes, picked up her camera and started to run to the ship canal.

She lucked out by staying in a hotel on the sun side of the ship canal. She got some great pictures. Of course, I on the south pier, had no idea that someone from the ship was here before the ship itself arrived, much less taking pictures just across the ship canal from me with the sun behind her.

I thought about the rest of us, and how many of us would jump out of bed at 5 am in the morning and run down to the ship canal. Why would Nina be so excited about the arrival of her work place on the water. Remember what I told you, she is the best tour manager in the world, and good tour managers have lots on enthusiasm and that’s how much enthusiasm she has.

Now after a run, most of us probably go home and take a shower, totally forgetting we live right next to the largest freshwater lake in the world. On her way back to the hotel she jumped in the lake to cool off. Perhaps she wouldn’t have done it if like us, she knew how cold it was, but knowing Nina, that probably didn’t faze her. She was born in Moscow and knows all about winter and cold.

Flash forward to midafternoon; I arrived at the ship for my tour and met Nina. I like to impress people who are visiting Duluth on a ship and often give them a photo I took of the ship when it arrived. She told me that would be nice but she ….

… and she told me the story I just shared with you. Happily she sent me her pictures and I have used both in the collage above (click picture for larger version).

The big picture of the ship at the left is of course hers since you can see the sun shining directly on it, while my picture at the right is dark. Lining the bottom is a picture she took after making a quick stop in her run down to the ship canal. Finally, I had waited long enough for the sun to shine ‘correctly’ and got the side shot, lower middle, as the ship was lining up at her dock at the DECC.

Peter R. Cresswell makes an appearance in the Twin Ports: note: the Cresswell departed Duluth on Wednesday morning, July 29, 2009 at 5:33.

peterrcresswell20090728_9960 The Peter R. Cresswell arrived in port on July 28, 2009, going under the Lift Bridge and here she is moving up the Duluth harbor at 1:30 in the afternoon. She is here to load iron ore pellets at the CN dock in West Duluth. She has been here only 11 times since 1996, two of those trips came last year. On one of those visits, she loaded iron ore pellets; on the other, coal. This is the Canadian-flagged vessel’s first trip here this season. She was launched in 1982 as the Algowest and her first duties were to load wheat from Western Canada in Thunder Bay and bring it to the mouth of the St. Lawrence Seaway for transfer to ocean going boats and then out to the Atlantic Ocean and the rest of the world.

With the grain trade out of North American decreasing, the boat was sent to the shipyard in 1998 to get a self-unloader system added to her deck and below her four cargo holds so she would be able to load other bulk cargos such as coal, limestone and iron ore pellets and then discharge them more efficiently.

Late in the season of 2001, she went through the Welland Canal for the last time as the Algowest. That name had been removed from the side of the boat for the trip, a very unusual event. When she arrived in Port Weller, she was rechristened the Peter R. Cresswell. That was the same day that Peter R. Cresswell retired from his position as President and Chief Executive Officer of Algoma Central Corporation.

James R. Barker and the Rose Garden in Duluth

The James R. Barker added to a pleasant summer evening in Duluth as she came into port just after 8 pm on Monday, July 27, 2009.

Peter R. Cresswell departing Duluth

The Peter R. Cresswell is pictured approaching the lift bridge as it was departing the port in March 2008. It is expected to arrive this evening to load iron ore pellets at the CN dock in West Duluth. It has been here only 11 times since 1996, two of those trips came last year. On one of those visits, it loaded iron ore pellets; on the other, coal. This is the Canadian-flagged vessel’s first trip here this season. It was launched in 1982 as the Algowest. Photo taken on March 29, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 07-27-2009

Wow, I hope that thing stops…

The Atlantic Huron is pictured making the turn into the Duluth harbor after coming in from the anchorage off the Duluth piers on Saturday afternoon to replace the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. at the Midwest Energy coal dock. People were turning their attention from the boat to the bridge, standing under it and watching it slowly come down on their head. There were a few more people under the bridge on Saturday since it started to rain as the Atlantic Huron arrived. As usual, the bridge stopped before hitting anybody. Early this morning, the ship was expected to depart with its cargo of coal, taking it to Nova Scotia Power in Sydney, Nova Scotia, a port on the Atlantic Ocean. Photo taken on July 25, 2009
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 07-26-2009