Archives for August 2012

Holly gets American Courage

Holly Jorgenson took some time out from being a Great Grandmother to get this picture of the American Courage as she came into port on Thursday morning, August 30, 2012 at 9:00. It was her 3rd trip to the Duluth Superior this season (the boat’s third, not the Grandmother’s), the first two were in July. She (the boat, not the Grandmother) brought limestone to discharge at the Graymont dock in Superior. After that, she (see above) moved to the CN dock in West Duluth to load iron ore pellets for Cleveland. She was initially named after Fred R. White, a man who started as an accountant in the vessel operations department of Columbia Transportation Company in 1935. He held many leadership positions with the company.

Fishing OK, walking around not so much

It was a good day for fishing in Duluth on Sunday, August 26, 2012. Not so walkparkinglot20120826_5365good if you wanted to walk by the fishing boats or get from the boat to your car. To the surprise of many, including the fishing boat operators that I talked to, no one told them a race would be going on the sidewalk by their boats this Sunday morning. Pedestrians, and their baby carriages, had to walk in the parking lot while the runners commanded the sidewalk.
bluebridge20120826_5339It didn’t help that the Blue Bridge was not operational, forcing more than the usual traffic into the tunnel and sidewalk by the fishing boats if they wanted to get to the other side.
volunterpointing20120826_5334Over at the  Marine Museum, workers arriving there had no knowledge that a race was set up on their side walk, with a water stop next to the tug boat and volunteers directing visitors and tourists to stay out of the way when runners were coming thru. To make matters worse, it was a two lap race, very strung out to begin with. It was going when I arrived in the morning around 9 and was still going strong at noon. Since it was a triathlon, it was going slower than a usual running race.
What I saw was apparently the running portion of the Superior Man Triathlon, not surprisingly the first year for the event. All the volunteers I talked with were polite, friendly and totally unaware that waterstop20120826_5369race officials apparently forgot to mention to, at the least, the fishing boat operators and the folks at the Marine Museum, that their race was going right by and right through, respectively, their place of operations. Having run many races myself, I am sure the runners assumed that race officials had received the necessary permissions to run the race and provided notice to any folks who might be inconvenienced.
bbclouisiana20120826_5327 Happily, the swimming portion of the race was over before the BBC Louisiana appeared with wind turbine parts from Denmark around 11 in the morning.

Boats backwards and forward in Duluth today

It is a beautiful day in the neighborhood; lots of people, sun and even a little excitement. The Vista Queen is not trying to beat the Algolake into the Duluth ship canal. The Algolake had just cleared the canal after departing in reverse. That sometimes happens when a boat is discharging salt at the North American Salt Dock, just behind the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge. It is easier to simply back straight out into the lake than it is to clear the dock, make a 180 turn and then go under the bridge normally. Nick Stenstrup was up for the day from St. Paul and will have his video of the unusual departure on YouTube later tonight. I will add the link here when it is there. A little earlier, the Algoma Quebecois was greeted by a large crowd as she came into port with cement

Barrels Back?

According to a report at Wisconsin Public Radio printed in the Duluth News Tribune this morning (Friday, August 17, 2012), the Defense Department/Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa barrel retrieval from Lake Superior project is completed. I took these pictures on Tuesday, August 14th as the tug Champion/barge Kokosing came under the Aerial Lift Bridge, presumably 20120814_4924with 70 barrels on board that they retrieved and will now test. While they were working in the Lake, the U.S. Coast Guard established a 700 foot safety zone around them. There was no safety zone as they came into port on Tuesday, so we assume we were safe, although they have not yet tested the contents of the barrels. As is said by officials whenever there is an incident at a nuclear power plant, ‘… at no time was the public in any danger.’ The tug/barge departed Duluth this morning at 6:47. See previous report here on August 7, previous report here on August 6. Click pictures for larger version.

Tregurtha aground, now free

Here is a picture taken yesterday (August 15, 2012) by Gregory Garten of the Paul R. Tregurtha, hard aground Wednesday night, completely blocking the downbound St. Mary’s River channel just above the Rock Cut. The vessel is aground at its bow and stern, and the ship spans the width of the narrow shipping channel. Early this morning, the vessel was freed but until checked by the Corps of Engineers, the channel is still closed to traffic.

Garganey waits at anchor in Duluth

  Sunrise on August 14, 2012 found the Hong Kong flagged Garganey at anchor off the Duluth piers. She is named after the duck of the same name. The duck can be found in Europe and Asia in the summer; in winter, they fly down to South Africa and India. In August, 2008 and again today, the ship was in Duluth. In 2008, she loaded bentonite. Today she is here to load spring wheat for Savona, a port on the northwest coast of Italy. 
  The ship is owned by a company in Hong Kong and is currently under charter to Canadian Forest Navigation, commonly called Canfornav. She may come in late this afternoon and go to CHS in Superior. The crew, all from mainland China, will load on Wednesday and may depart the Twin Ports for Italy Wednesday night.

ROV – Remote Operated Vehicle

Click to enlargRight along with the Mars walking, picture-taking Curiosity, the Lake Superior barrel retrieval project has its own remote camera, although it operates on the bottom of Lake Superior, a hard place to do business but nothing like going to Mars to do it.

The picture at the left is an enlargement of the previously published picture of the barge. The ROV, as it is called, sits within the silver colored rigging seen here on the barge Kokosing. The ROV is sent down to the bottom of the Lake where the barrels are located and gives the operators above their first opportunity to evaluate the condition of the barrels. (click picture to enlarge)

Barrels coming up from Lake Superior

Between 1958 and 1962, some 1,500 or so 55-gallon barrels were dumped into Lake Superior by the Department of Defense in three locations roughly 4 miles east of Duluth. For years, there has been much controversy and speculation regarding the safety of the barrels and their contents. The Department of Defense believes they are filled with concrete and scrap munitions. Others, including environmentalists and specifically, the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, suggest there could be some more dangerous contents that might include radioactive material.  For the current work, the Department of Defense is paying the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior tugchampiondabraujuly312012IMG_4448Chippewa about $2.2 million to recover the barrels as part of a federal program to clean up dump sites near or on reservation lands.The tug Champion and barge Kokosing are being used for the work. They were in Duluth in late July and early August, leaving Duluth on August 2nd to begin work.
They will try to bring up and/or test about 70 bargekokosingdanraujuly312012-IMG_4446barrels from a variety of places where the barrels are located to provide a range of possibilities of what the contents of all the barrels might contain. It is potentially hazardous work and the Coast Guard has set up a safety zone around the rig, 700 feet in all directions. The work may take as long as 2 weeks. Pictures here were taken by Dan Rau on July 31, 2012 in Two Harbors.