Archives for August 2010

Canadian Enterprise departs Duluth

with a cargo of grain. This video came from the live video stream that Duluth Shipping News provides at our web site at

Indiana Harbor arrives Duluth …

Indiana Harbor arrives to load coal on September 5, 2010; this clip taken from the live video stream that is always available at

Our U.S. Coast Guard cutter Alder is getting serious about ice and cold

LCDR Mary Ellen J. Durley sent a note down to Capt Tom Mackay, most of which is repeated here. I have included a picture she sent me also; not sure who took it:
ALDER has become a Blue-Nose and joined the Polar Bear club by sailing above the Arctic Circle. We are currently on our journey home, but I won’t be able to give an exact time or date. The crew is very excited to get home to see their loved ones after participating in a Joint International Mission with the Canadian and Danish Forces, called Operation NANOOK 2010. We increased the interoperability of conducting missions by all three countries in the high Arctic and the mission was a success and first of its kind. We saw ice bergs, whales, a glimpse of a polar bear, beautiful fiords, and lots of fog, rain, and heavy seas. Don’t worry, we’ll be back in Lake Superior to take care of the fall aids to navigation season and winter ice-breaking.
LCDR Mary Ellen J. Durley, Commanding Officer, Alder

Watching the dredge

The Duluth ship canal is officially a ship channel, meaning it is maintained at a depth of around 30 feet at all times so that large 1,000 footers and ocean going ships can move safely thru the channel on their way in and out of Duluth. To maintain that depth, the channel has to be periodically dredged since wave action and propeller blades can build up silt, especially around the edges of the channel. Marine Tech moved their dredge out to the South Pier today, just beside the South Pier light, to work on some of the edges of the channel. They will be there for about 3 weeks providing another sight for visitors to look at and for today, something for the crew aboard the Tuscarora to watch while they wait at anchor to come into port to load grain.

Kim Storm

kimstormherpictureofstelleaprimaOn November 17, 2005, Kim Storm was alone on a very cold night, taking a picture of the Stellaprima (left) as she approached the unloading dock at the Port Terminal with heavy cargo loaded in Japan. The next day, still very cold and snowy, workers began to discharge the cargo onto waiting railcars for the long trip to Alberta. Kim was back again to take more pictures and over the next couple days, she wrote a song about the whole experience. Five years later, less a couple months, last night in fact, she sang the song again at Amazing Grace in Duluth (inset). She sang other songs, including her song about the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge: Aerial Eye.  Here is a link to her CD available on Amazon.

Kim Storm will be in Duluth to sing …

The Dutch flagged Stellaprima loaded oil sands project cargo in Japan in the summer of 2005 and delivered it to Duluth in November of that year. Kim Storm helped the Duluth Shipping News to photograph the event. She wrote a song about the experience; she is coming to Duluth to sing it at Amazing Grace Café in Canal Park on Wednesday evening at 8 pm. You can listen to the song below.

Federal Power through the fog


The Federal Power came into port today through the fog to load distiller’s dried grains with solubles (DDGS), a byproduct of the ethanol production process. DDGS is a cargo rarely loaded in the Twin Ports, although this will be the 2nd shipment going out this year. In the US, we produce about 3.2 million tons of it annually and ship about 700,000 tons to Europe where it is used for animal feed. This is the Federal Power’s 3rd visit to the Twin Ports since she was built in 2000; she made two trips here in 2007. When finished, she will take her cargo to Ireland.

High school reunion in Duluth


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Jill Bonatz is a big Duluth boat fan living down in Alabama. Until Saturday (August 8, 2010) she had never been here. Her husband, Ekkehard, is a marathon runner and was interested in running Grandmas next year. They jillbuffalo20100808_3223 decided to come up so Jill could see some boats and Ekkehard could run some miles on the marathon course to check it out.

Jill is a frequent contributor to this blog and it was a great pleasure to finally meet her yesterday. She has had email contact with Mark Adamson, a high school classmate many years ago. He is now the captain of the Buffalo, a boat that rarely visits Duluth. You know what is coming …. The Buffalo came to town very early this morning during a hard rain. Jill and Ekkehard were going to go over but with the weather and hour, they decided to wait. Still, staying at the South Pier Inn gave them a great view when the Buffalo departed earlier this morning. And Captain Adamson suggested they drive to Silver Bay this afternoon and visit him there on the boat.

jillbuffalodeck20100808_3238  Keep in mind that Jill and Mark have not seen each other since high school and Jill has a 22 year old son so do the math. Above is a picture of Jill waving to Mark as he took the Buffalo under the Lift Bridge on the way to Silver Bay this morning.  Ekkehard has been deputized as a photographer journalist for the Duluth Shipping News and I will post his pictures of the happy get-together in Silver Bay later today.

Monday, August 9, 2010 (this is the later)

jillcapt20100808_3233Everything worked out great. They had a nice trip to Silver Bay, saw the Buffalo slowly tie up at the dock and then trouble started. They lowered the ladder and Jill started to wonder whether this whole trip was worth it. “I might have gone to a couple dances with him 39 years ago, but that doesn’t mean I am climbing that ladder just to see him, even if he is the Captain” or something like that. jillpilothouse20100808_3246Of course, eventually, after being told the most important direction, don’t look down, Jill made it to the top of the ladder and onto the deck of the boat where Captain Mark and Jill had a mini 39th year class reunion.

Captain Mark gave them a tour of the entire boat as you can see by the pictures above taken by Ekkehard.buffalo20100808_3226

A ship in the hand is worth …

The Tall Ship Europa came into Duluth on July 29, along with 8 other ships; Steve Sola took this picture of the Europa in the palm of his hand, with his phone from his lighthouse next to Duluth Lift Bridge. Click here to see my picture of the same ship a couple minutes later, with Steve’s lighthouse in the background. You can also look at pictures of the other 8 Tall Ships there.