Archives for January 2014

Take a ride on the Nels J.

Callaway home for the winter

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Two Heritage Marine tugs helped the Cason J. Callaway tie up at the Port Terminal for the winter this morning (January 15, 2014). Here the Helen H. is clearing ice along the dock. I took the picture from the Nels J., also assisting the Callaway. Earlier (below), Heritage Tug owner Mike Ojard (in the boat, works with Bob Hom, on shore, as they were getting the tug off their dock in Superior.
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Below, Captain Mike Ojard runs the Helen H. along the edge of the dock, clearing ice so the Callaway can tie up close to the dock.
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The goal is to get the Callaway as close to the dock as possible. Above, the Helen H. does her part while we (the Nels J.) do the same at the bow of the Callaway.
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Good-byes all around

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Launched earlier this year, the Canadian flagged Baie Comeau made 7 trips to the Twin Ports this season, discharging grain on one trip and loading coal 3 times. She departed today (January 9,  2014) with her 3rd cargo of iron ore pellets. Two Heritage Marine tugs, the Helen H. above, and the Nels J. below cleared a path through the ice on her departure.
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Cold day in Duluth (-15 F, wind chill–34 F)

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The Baie Comeau arrived this morning at 9:20 so she could share our beautiful weather with us; she will also load iron ore pellets while she is in town.
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Two Great Lakes tugs helped her get through the ice. That is the St. Clair at her winter layup dock at the Port Terminal on the right.
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Tug/barge/icebreaker

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Tug barges are interesting vessel(s). The Great Lakes Trader (barge) and the Joyce L. VanEnkevort (tug) were loading iron ore pellets at the CN dock in West Duluth on Thursday (January 2, 2014). Click the image for a larger version. Ice was an obvious problem but a tug/barge has a unique tool for breaking it up: the tug. Here the tug (right) had unleashed herself from the barge and was out shoveling the driveway while the dock was loading iron ore pellets into the Great Lakes Trader cargo holds. The tug later moved out into the river to clear a space for the vessel to back away from the slip and make the turn in the river so she could depart. Turning is a much bigger problem in an icy river than cruising down (or up) the river and needs more space.That done the tug returned to reconnect to the barge and they departed the slip together, using the newly created space in the river to make the turn. High winds on Lake Superior delayed her departure after she cleared the Duluth ship canal so she dropped anchor off the Duluth piers to wait.American Steamship has called in their vessels for the season but other shipping companies are continuing operations, if more slowly than usual. The Coast Guard has many vessels below the Soo working to keep the shipping lanes open on the St. Mary’s River, the St. Clair River and the often troubling Rock Cut.
In this article in UpNorthLive on January 2, 2014, the Coast Guard reports that Coast Guard crews have been doing their best to keep this multi-billion dollar shipping industry moving.
Capt. Steve Teschendorf is now Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie Commander. He is remembered here as the last captain on the Sundew and the first captain on the Alder. In the article, he is quoted as saying, "It’s (the ice) caused some delays, but we have not had any of what we call a waterway closure at this point, so things of been slowed but they are moving." He reported that ships are noticing delayed travel times and if they plan on making it through the locks they need to do so by January 15th. That’s when the locks close for the season until March.
Ken Gerasimos, Key Lakes/ Great Lakes Fleet, took this picture of the disengaged pair on Thursday.

Ice and cold with new and old

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Our current US Coast Guard cutter Alder (above) was out this morning opening up the shipping channels for boats returning to Duluth for the winter.  The Sundew,  our ‘old’, and now retired,  Coast Guard cutter (foreground), was sitting at her dock waiting for summer. And a good thing for those sailors on the Alder. The pilothouse is warm and comforting on the Alder,  while the Sundew had an open pilothouse, not the best place to spend a winter day in the Northland.

American Spirit first in for layup

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The American Spirit arrived Duluth around 11 am, January 2, 2014 for winter layup. She is the first of 8 boats arriving in the next couple weeks to spend the winter in the port.

Salt water ships in Duluth

I have created a slideshow/video, the first of several detailing some of  my experiences on the salt water ships that have come to Duluth since I started this in 1996. Homeland Security as made life a great more difficult here regarding the appreciation of our maritime heritage. All the docks have been enclosed inside large cages, with locks on the gate and a security person ready to have a nice discussion with you when you arrive. It is not like the old times and I am trying to collect some of the good times from yesterday to stand in for the good times we have no  more.
My previous videos have been on YouTube but I am trying something different, using an excellent media program called Proshow Producer. It allows me to crate a more interesting show with many more capabilities than I had sending my videos to YouTube. YouTube uses Flash, which almost all of us have on your computer and it is easy to see them. This a slide show needs another program from Proshow. I have worked with this company for many years and I am not anticipating any problems. When you first click on the show, it will ask you to download a piece of software to use to see the show. You only need to do that once. To complete, you will probably have to answer yes to give the program permission to install. Please agree; I myself am wary of downloading too many programs that run in the background but you will find the slide show much easier to use. It will load and run faster and will not stop in the middle to load more; it takes some time at the start to get the show going and then you can watch is straight thru.

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