News notes for January, 2011 …

… as of Wednesday, January 17, 2011
Winter layup in Duluth
The Adam E. Cornelius, American Victory and Edward L. Ryerson have been in port for an extended layup. The H. Lee White arrived in port for winter layup on January 4th, 2011. The American Spirit arrived here for layup on January 12, 2011 and the Roger Blough arrived on January 14th. Both the American Century and the James R. Barker came in on the morning of January 17, 2010; the American Integrity arrived on January 18th. The John G. Munson arrived on Wednesday morning  January 19, and is the last arrival for layup for the winter. Weather will not allow the American Mariner to be as originally expected. You can check the schedule page at for up-to-date information.
Soo Locks According to the Cheboygan Daily Tribune, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has granted a request from the Lake Carriers’ Association to extend the closing date of the Soo Locks for three days. The Poe Lock will officially close for the season on Tuesday, January 18th so that low inventories of iron ore pellets could be replenished to meet the wintertime needs of industry. The locks traditionally close on January 15th each year.
bridgepainting20100224_1581Bridge painting The Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge will close at 6 am on Friday, January 14 so that the south tower can be painted (the North tower was painted last winter. See picture at left). That means all traffic after the 14th and until the end of the season (defined as the time that the last boat arrives in port) will use the Superior entry to access the port. It is anticipated that the bridge will reopen for traffic at 10am on March 14th. Watch paint dry!! You can still watch the paint dry, or at least watch the tent that covers the bridge paint while it dries, at our live 24/7 web cam at I may find something even more interesting that paint drying before the winter is over!


  1. The Cupcake says:

    Thank you for being around from the most beautiful place on the planet earth, winter or summer.

    I am retired and unable to travel too many times, but your town is my dreams of where I have been.

    Thank you for keeping us informed.

    Stanley Mazal @
    Rancho Brooklyn Park, MN. US

  2. Paul Sando says:

    Hi Ken! Question about the boats when they layup. I saw a pic of the American Century and you can see her rudders and most of her props. Do they pump the ballast dry when they layup? Or have they just started doing that after the McCarthy incident?

  3. Hey Ken, Thanks for showing a picture of the American Victory. She’s my favorite! Her “southern boy” captain is pretty good, too!


  4. the new map is a great help…better perspective on where things are! thanks, ken!

  5. Hey Eric, that map is great! Peg, the view IS from the summer, you’re right, but at least you can see the three boats there. Those three boats have been there for awhile. I cannot begin to imagine how cold it is up there. It looks like if you were to touch the bridge, your hand would get stuck to it. Best of luck to all you hearty folks up there and stay warm!


  6. Is the road out to Wisconsin Point plowed in the winter? If not, does anyone know the condition since the last snow? My car is not up to anything exciting, but it would be neat to go out this afternoon. I thought I remembered seeing signs this summer that the road isn’t plowed in the winter, but perhaps I am mis-remembering.

  7. Paul from St. Paul says:

    I took a look at the Google satellite photo of the harbor.
    What’s really surprising is all the wind turbine blades laying on the dock across the slip to the north of the Murphy fuel dock , , next to the ship with the blue hatch covers. Looks like a LOT of them !! FYI, Murphy fuel dock is where Port Terminal Road dead ends at the water, behind Russell Steel , , if you’re looking at the Google map.
    I don’t know exactly when that photo was taken. The grass was green and no ice or snow . . . . . unlike now . . . .

  8. Hi Jill, I tried the Google link to Fraser Shipyards but I’m only seeing a summer view – green grass, open water. Where are you seeing ships in winter layup?

  9. ok, thanks, ken, for updating us.

  10. so, they closed the bridge to ready it for painting…wonder why we don’t see any work going on there? if they don’t work on weekends, why didn’t they wait until the weekend was over to close it?

    • I was wondering the same thing but there are people working over there. I am sure they have several things to finish once they know the bridge will not be going up, before they erect the beautiful tent and get to work on the painting

  11. Sorry. I realize that Fraser Shipyards is actually located in Superior, WI. From way down here, it all looks the same up there!


  12. Hey everybody, you can use Google Maps to go to Fraser Shipyards in Duluth, Minnesota and you can actually see the American Victory, the Adam Cornelius, and the Edward L. Ryerson sitting right there. The Ryerson is on the left, the Cornelius is in the middle, and the American Victory is on the right. Have fun looking at that while we wait for Ken’s map project. Thanks, Ken!


  13. best i could do

  14. this might help until ken comes up with a better one?

  15. Paul from St. Paul says:

    Sad to see the season come to a close.
    Thanks Ken for a great year of live boat watching!!
    ALMOST as good as being there in person.
    Guess we’ll watch the paint dry . . . . .

  16. Paul Badovinac says:

    I know this is probably dreaming, but, what is the possibility of putting a Web Cam on the Superior entry. As a lot of ships go through there during the season. I don’t know if it would be cost prohibitive or not.
    Just a thought.


  17. Funny, I was just about to e-mail you with a suggestion for a winter project. Would like a map of where there heck some of the points are in the harbor where the boats go to load or unload. Haven’t a clue where DM&IR, Midwest Energy, Port Terminal, Murphy, Burlington Northern, Garfield C, Garfield D, Elevator M, SMET and all the others are located. Or what some of the abbreviations stand for.
    Thanks. Nice map would really be neat.

  18. that would be great, since AIS only shows H. Lee White

  19. I’ve also always wondered if there was an aerial map of the whole Twin Ports harbor area. You always talk about where boats are headed, and I’ve pieced together quite a few places…like Murphy Fuel which is a neat place to watch the boats pull up (assuming nobody eventually yells at me!), but I’ve always wondered if there was something more complete!

  20. Thanks, Ken! I’ve watched the bridge go up today to let the Paul Tregurtha come in. Maybe I’ll catch it go up one more time today. I hope so. Can we all still look out your window as we wait for March 14th to roll around?


  21. Ken, can you make us an aerial map of where each boat is for layup?


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