Ice is not nice to ships

The US Coast Guard cutter Morro Bay left here a week ago and today (March 28, 2014), she was towed back to port by the Alder after sustaining damage to her rudder while breaking ice. Outside the Duluth piers, they lashed the Morro Bay to the side of the Alder for the trip through the ship canal. The Katmai Bay, also here a week ago, led them in to port. The Presque Isle is also coming back to Duluth to repair damage to her hull caused by the ice.


  1. I captured a couple of webcam images of Presque Isle coming back into port in the dark at Duluth at 5:30am central time this morning. I emailed them to Ken in case he doesn’t have any others and wants to post something.

    I was puzzled yesterday why no other ships were moving in the Welland Canal after Equinox made it past the 7th lock. Apparently, I was just too impatient; shipping time is a bit slower.

    The freighter, Frontenac, was facing south at the dock in the canal. About 10pm eastern time yesterday, she left the dock and headed out into Gravelly Bay. At 11:30pm, the tug, Seahound, left dock and steamed up the canal at 9 knots. By 11:38pm, Frontenac had made a loop in the bay to turn around and came back up the canal facing north. She continued up the canal slowly, at 2-3 knots. At 12:54am, the freighter, Whitefish Bay, also left dock, following Frontenac up the canal. Seahound reached Equinox a short time later about 1am and began working the ice to clear a lane on the eastern side of Equinox and up as far as lock #6. Frontenac passed Algoma Equinox at 4:04am, heading towards the 7th lock. By 7:39am, Frontenac was leaving lock #3. Following behind, Whitefish Bay made it to the 7th lock by 6:45am and was in lock #6 at 7:24am. Right now, 7:57am, Frontenac is steaming towards lock #2, Whitefish Bay is moving from lock #6 to lock #5, and Seahound is heading back down south in the canal. I assume that there would now be room for Equinox to dock at Port Colborne. So, traffic is indeed moving at the Welland.

    And, at 8:01am eastern time, Mackinaw’s radio showed up in Thunder Bay. She is about 6 miles past the entrance or roughly in the middle of the triangle made by Pie Island, Hare Island, and the Welcome Islands. The ice there is due for a Big Mack attack. Of course, this does make one wonder what happened to the rest of the convoy.

    • Brent…Whitefish Bay was also facing south, so she backed down the Canal to Port Robinson where she turned around to face north and continue. Both Frontenac and Whitefish Bay (along with Baie Comeau) had turned around in Port Robinson on Thursday.

      • I can’t see the ship orientation on the track, only the direction of movement. But, looking at Whitefish Bay’s track, I can see where they did veer to the west at the ‘Y’ just below Port Robinson and then came back east, making a jog in the track. That must have been where they turned around, like you mentioned. I don’t see any jog there in the track for Frontenac but I do see where they left the canal and made a loop and came back. So, I assume that was where they were turning around. Both of these tracks started last night which was Friday. The track is no longer showing from Thursday but I do seem to recall that Baie Comeau went up the canal and then came back down. I didn’t know why they did that, but now it makes more sense when you say they were turning around at the ‘Y’.

        Frontenac left Port Weller about 10:15am and is heading northeast in Lake Ontario. Whitefish Bay has left lock #2 and is heading for lock #1. I see that Algoma Equinox has moved upstream in the canal to south of John D Leitch. I guess the Welland isn’t as busy as it will be, but it is nice to see ships moving through the locks, and it is nice a tug like Seahound working.

        After 3 1/2 hours of breaking ice, Mackinaw has made it north of the Welcome Islands and is only about 3 miles from the south entrance to Lakehead Harbor.

  2. Jerry Bielicki says:

    Cool……thanks for sharing.

  3. John Laine says:

    Why can I not find the Mackinaw or Calloway on any of the AIS systems?
    I have been tracking the progress of this convoy on AIS, but now I can’t see them listed on there. Any ideas?

  4. I watched it Live on the GLS Stream Cam. Was so pleased. I check it now and then and got lucky.

    Very nice pictures.

  5. holly jorgenson says:


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