Soft news from the James R. Barker; turning the electricity on and packing to go home

The James R. Barker came into port for winter layup on Tuesday afternoon (next entry down). Wednesday morning, it was time to ready the boat for her winter stay at Midwest Energy. That will last until around March 15th. One of the first jobs was connecting the boat to shore power (above). A large electrical cable is being lowered onto the dock to be dragged to the Shore Power box (lower left of collage).
While the boat was readied for winter, the crew was getting ready to go home. The halls were filled with stuff ready to go. Crew member John Woodward is seen taking his bags from his room on the boat out to a basket on the deck. As one crane was lifting equipment onto the deck from the dock to be used in one of the many maintenance projects planned for the winter, crew member bags were lowered to shore in the basket. One good reason for the basket is the ladder you see in the picture. It is not fun, if even possible, and certainly not very safe, to carry anything down the ladder that requires one of your hands. Hands are for holding onto the ladder; everything else goes over the side in a basket.


  1. Hey Paul, I agree so much! I was born up in Florence, Alabama around the Tennessee River and saw barges on the river, but nothing like these boats in Duluth! I have a high school friend who is the captain on the American Victory and he's a great source of knowledge and information, too. I would love to see all this in person! I am willing to admit, though, I don't know if I could even climb up the ladder just to get on a boat. I'm not much for heights. Pitiful, I know.
    I hope Colt McCoy's shoulder gets better, but I have always preferred Texas A&M, too! I lived in San Antonio for a couple of years and pledged my allegiance to them.
    Blessings to you in Texas, and everyone up in Duluth, especially Ken! Let's hope the American Victory will come out next season.

    Jill in Alabama

  2. For Jill:

    I was pulling for Alabama.

    I am a Texas A&M fan. Not a Mack Brown fan and I thought Colt McCoy didnt show much class at the Heisman award when he left immediately after the presentation and did not grant any interviews.

    I think it is so neat to have individuals from around the states that log into Ken's website. I thought only people from the North Country( I was born in the Upper Pensiula of Michigan) would be interested in it.The Great Lakes is in my blood.
    Ken does such a great job with the website, especially with the photos.
    Hurry up and March get here so we can get back to the shipping.

    Galveston Island, TX

  3. Anonymous says:

    Great pictures, Ken. Now it's time for all those gentlemen to go home and sit in front of the fire and thaw out! That includes you, too.

    And Paul, my fellow correspondent, this message is for you . . . ROLL TIDE!!

    Y'all try to stay warm up there.

    Jill from Alabama

  4. Interesting Information.
    In addition to annual Maintenance are there Crewmembers that rotate to act as Warchmen during winter Layup, or does the company hire local individuals for security?

    Galveston Island, TX

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