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A season like no other

April 9, 2014 · 58 comments

 Click on any picture to see a larger versionamericanspirit20140409-089
katmaibay20140409-080

This is what I think, but don’t bet on it.

The Presque Isle left here on March 22th with a partial load of pellets and I think loaded pellets at Two Harbors and then tried to get to the other end of Lake Superior but had ice trouble and came back here for repairs, arriving on March 29th still with her pellets. Some of those pellets were off loaded into the American Spirit, which had not yet left Duluth. She offloaded pellets to make repairs easier.

The American Spirit left here on April 7th with pellets loaded from the Presque Isle. She went to Two Harbors to load pellets and then came back this morning (above) with both loads of pellets. To wait, I presume.

Back on March 24th the Mackinaw, Katmai Bay and Morro Bay arrived Duluth and left here on March 26th.

Two days later, on March 28th, the Alder arrived Duluth with an ice-wounded Morro Bay lashed to her side with the Katmai Bay leading them under the Lift Bridge.

convoySeveral days later, the Katmai Bay departed to return to ice breaking duties while the Morro Bay stayed here for repairs to her rudder. That happened early this week and she left but did not go very far away. The Katmai Bay returned to Duluth this morning, April 9th  (above), and the Morro Bay was back at the DECC with the Katmai Bay by late this afternoon.

Meanwhile at the other end of the Lake, late this afternoon, the Canadian ice breaker Pierrre Radisson left the Soo leading a convoy of boats trying to get to Duluth (Click on the the map above). The Mackinaw was going to be with the convoy but as I write this, she was still at the Soo.

t1140981646LakeSuperior143250m-psSo here is my guess. When the convoy arrives here, perhaps on Thursday or Friday, we will have 5 ice breakers here, counting the Alder. All of a sudden, we will/may have a bunch of boats here to load cargo and then go back out to the lake, I would guess with the help of some of our flotilla of ice breakers. And presumably the American Spirit came back and is waiting to be a part of that convey.

Or Not!

You can find the satellite images here: http://coastwatch.glerl.noaa.gov/index.html

Just click on MODIS Imagery; Great Lakes MODIS True Color; and then select the lake you want, such as Superior

{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

Brent R April 14, 2014 at 5:44 pm

For those waiting for a sign from the heavens, tonight is a Blood Moon. From 2am to 5:30am eastern time, there will be a lunar eclipse. If you have binoculars or a small telescope, this is the time to look at the Moon because the mountains really stand out as the Moon enters the Earth’s shadow. I see on the weather forecast here, that I have cloud cover at 11:30pm so it’s anyone’s guess if clouds will still be in the way later. If you do miss it, don’t fret too much because there will be three more this year. Perhaps this is a sign that things will improve. Of course, if the Canadian Coast Guard wanted to send up Des Groseilliers to give fate a push in that direction, I would be good with that too.

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Brent R April 14, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Radisson spent two hours breaking ice between Pie Island and Isle Royale early this morning. They then entered Thunder Bay and took a break for 4 1/2 hours. For the past 4 1/2 hours (since 1:30pm eastern), they’ve been working a track from the bay entrance to the Friendship Islands. This track is about 500 feet wide so presumably the goal is wide enough for two ships to have room to pass. They are now at the dock inside the harbor and may be stopping for the night. Presumably they’ll have to break enough ice for Capt Henry Jackman to leave port. I don’t see a radio signal so I can’t tell if the local tug, Point Valour, is already working on this. Of course, I don’t see a signal for Jackman either. The only signal besides Radisson in Thunder Bay is the Canadian rescue vessel Chaillon and this boat is still in drydock.

It looks like Gott has finished loading in Two Harbors. The last I saw Speer, it was outside Two Harbors so I assume they are loading there now. Cort is obviously loading in Superior. Presumably, Presque Isle, American Spirit, Walter McCarthy, and St Clair are already loaded.

I looked at the schedule and see that Callaway, Munson, and White were expected in Duluth on the 17th. That clearly is not going to happen. In fact, I would be surprised if a convoy from Duluth is even at the Soo Locks by the 17th. And, I assume that there are ships in line ahead of Munson, Callaway, and White.

It seems like the two ships at Marquette could probably make it to Whitefish Bay. Getting down the bay is another issue. Also, if seems like there are enough loaded ships right now in Duluth for a convoy. And, it seems like Alder and Mackinaw could get these to Marquette without Radisson’s help. From there, they could probably get to Whitefish Point. However, it might take some time for Mackinaw to work down the bay.

If I were eager to get shipping going, I would like to see ice-breakers in Whitefish Bay right now. This could be Hollyhock, Neah Bay, Biscayne Bay, or Mobile Bay. Even better would be if Des Groseilliers were there busting ice with others helping.

But there are some problems with this limited assessment. For example, Mackinaw, Katmai, Morro, and Alder all spent time breaking ice in Thunder Bay; Katmai and Alder spent quite a bit of time there. Yet, Radisson still seems to have work to do. I also recall how Mackinaw could not seem to bring the ships down from Caribou Island without Radisson’s help. And, I recall that Roger Blough broke a 3′ crack in the hull in spite of being escorted by both Radisson and Mackinaw. So, it is probably best to wait. However, with all those ships stacking up in the St Marys River, it would be a great and wonderful thing to see ships breaking ice in Whitefish Bay as soon as possible.

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Brent R April 13, 2014 at 10:58 pm

Free of the ice, the three giants have moved ahead of the convoy. I would say they are at least 20 miles ahead. The two smaller freighters are following Mackinaw. Radisson is trailing behind them and might be heading elsewhere.

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Brent R April 14, 2014 at 12:19 am

My guess is that Radisson is going up to Thunder Bay to break some ice. I think there may be another freighter there that needs to be broken out. So, can the convoy at Marquette make it east to Soo without the heavy ice-breakers? And, how quickly can a return convoy be assembled? I guess we’ll see.

The weather could be an issue. By 4am eastern, the wind will be blowing out of the north at 20 mph. However, NOAA’s estimate is for ice east of Marquette is about 10″ most of the way to Whitefish. And then you have ice no more than 14″ thick near Whitefish. Since the Bays already broke through ice thicker than this coming from east of Isle Royale, I assume they can handle it. The question then is the ice inside Whitefish itself which we know is thicker. It will get cold Monday night and Tuesday night but I can’t see the 15 F temperatures forming, say, 3″ of new ice so I doubt this will even be noticed by the ships. Of course, I’m sure the crew will notice though.

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Brent R April 13, 2014 at 5:01 pm

The three giants are right behind Radisson. These four are out of the ice and steaming at 14 knots. Mackinaw is escorting the two smaller ships which are still in the ice field and only moving about 7 knots.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7111/13832004454_f1ae52c33e_b.jpg

I can’t see a radio track for Katmai but Morro is at the dock so presumably Katmai is too. Since they aren’t breaking ice, I assume it isn’t as much of a problem in Marquette. Mesabi and Barker are at the bunker, so I assume they are loading up with iron ore. Presumably the fleet plans to try to make it to the Soo Locks. That might be chore getting through the ice in Whitefish.

I saw Dorothy Ann head over to Ashtabula and then return. I’m guessing she was taking a load of iron over there from Cleveland.
I still have not seen Bristol Bay in awhile.

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Steve W April 13, 2014 at 8:02 pm

I read that Bristol Bay is out of service until late April.

Steve

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Casna April 13, 2014 at 3:46 pm

Well that came out awful- sorry.

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Casna April 13, 2014 at 3:45 pm

Order. Destination. Superior Convoy
Radisson
Gott. Two Harbors
Speer. Two Harbors
Cort. Superior
Mackinaw
Laud. Duluth
Algoma Discovery. Superior
Algoma Discovery

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Bob G. April 13, 2014 at 11:56 am

Thanks for the updates Brent. With a cold week forecast, looks like ice will be a problem for at least 2 more weeks!

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Brent R April 13, 2014 at 6:50 am

Two hours after my post last night, the Rad/Mack convoy did halt for the night. Although, they did continue to drift at about 2 knots so this morning they are about 2 miles west of where they stopped. The convoy is just now becoming active again. They should be able to continue around the peninsula without any trouble since we’ve already seen the Bay convoy pass that way.

In Marquette, I can see Morro Bay’s radio track near the abandoned loading bunker. Kaye Barker is next to the working bunker. I see Mesabi Miner coming down now that it is light enough to see. It looks like Barker is on the south side of the bunker so I’m wondering if Mesabi intends to pull in on the north side. I don’t see a radio track for Katmai Bay.

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Brent R April 13, 2014 at 7:01 am

They were drifting at 2/10ths of a knot. Also, I realize that I’m reading the clock backwards; central time is an hour behind me. So, the fleet actually halted as I was making my last post last night, not 2 hours later. Maybe I need some coffee.

If you look at the current position you can see that the only movement since my post last night is the 2 mile drift WNW:
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7331/13819433425_4c4aa4eeec_b.jpg

And here you can see Marquette. Morro Bay is in the lower harbor. Mesabi is moving in the direction of Barker.
http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2916/13819500975_96da0008b2_b.jpg

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Brent R April 13, 2014 at 7:24 am

I see that Alder is back in Duluth.

Tadoussac is outside the breakwater at Two Harbors. For some reason, Tadoussac shows up on the AIS here as “316001836 CA”. They seem to be moving towards port now that it is light enough. You can see the three loading bunkers in the harbor although the space seems a bit tight to me for maneuvering ships of this size.

http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2937/13820183524_4918207da9_b.jpg

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Brent R April 13, 2014 at 8:21 am

Apparently there was some tracking error in the earlier position. Here we can clearly see that Barker is on the north side of the bunker and Mesabi is pulling in on the south side.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7194/13821285014_be44de76ec_b.jpg

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Brent R April 12, 2014 at 9:03 pm

Now, you can see that Radisson is indeed swinging north while Morro is turning south. So, Radisson is taking a more direct route while Morro is following the coast.
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3728/13810778225_dbcd0401f2_b.jpg

Morro is doing a nice job running in the dark near the coast. They can probably go for another four hours but I assume the thick ice that Radisson encountered is still there and I don’t think they can do that in the dark. Radisson can probably keep going without stopping since they should be getting into thinner ice.

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Brent R April 12, 2014 at 7:48 pm

An hour later, I’d say they are perhaps 25 miles apart, but it looks like they won’t converge:
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7100/13809616335_228d8e1673_b.jpg

The Bay convoy seems to be staying near the coast similar to the orange track that I drew. The Rad/Mack convoy seems to be following a more direct route similar to the red track I drew.

If Radisson is trying for a direct route, she’ll swing more northerly. If Morro is hugging the coast, she’ll go closer to Marquette. We should see in the next couple of hours and that will indicate some of the ice conditions.

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holly jorgenson April 12, 2014 at 7:59 pm

i wonder if there will be lots of nerds waiting in marquette for the miner and KEB to arrive? i would be out there!

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Brent R April 12, 2014 at 5:43 pm

You can see the track of the convoy led by Katmai and Morro Bay. They’ve made good progress. After turning south, it looks like they’ve averaged about 12 mph, moving about 50 miles in the last 4 hours. They seem to be hugging the eastern side of the peninsula to stay in open water or where the ice is thinner. Radisson and Mackinaw are moving a lot slower. They’ve average about 5 mph, moving about 20 miles in the past 4 hours. They do not appear to be trying to stay near the coast.
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3691/13807561535_4b0151864c_b.jpg

At these speeds, the two groups would converge in 2 1/2 hours although it will probably be longer as the Bay ships get into heavier ice and have to slow down. Of course, if Radisson gets into lighter ice, they could also speed up.

The Bay convoy still has a good radio signal but I’ve lost the signal from the other fleet. It might show up again as they move west and get closer to Marquette.

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holly jorgenson April 12, 2014 at 6:20 pm

the mack just popped up on ais again…6.3 kts headed right toward the bay convoy. about 35 miles apart?

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Brent R April 12, 2014 at 11:32 am

You can see that Tadoussac is leaving port at Thunder Bay.
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3719/13801147183_b4659a06ca_b.jpg

Radisson was making pretty good time for the first two hours. However, for the past two hours, she has been bogged down, working a track of thick ice just 1 1/2 miles long:
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3784/13801127445_7aeb14972d_b.jpg

It looks like Morro Bay has been able to maintain about 5 mph after entering the ice field east of Isle Royale. Here, you can see that they’ve almost passed Manitou Island:
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3828/13801660044_657dc75ce0_b.jpg

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Casna April 12, 2014 at 11:03 am

Thanks so much Holly and Brent. I used all of the resources you suggested. I had no trouble with the nautical chart download and wasn’t aware that some were available on line for free. The chart was a bit out of focus but with your other sources and instructions I did find the Shoals.

Thanks John too for the current info. I read Boatnerd daily. In fact that’s why I was frustrated, because Boatnerd was always referring to the Shoals and I couldn’t find them on a regular map. I assume all shoals are only marked on nauticals?
I can’t get AIS on Boatnerd on my iPad but I’ll check on our laptop.

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Casna April 12, 2014 at 7:24 am

Could someone describe or show me on a map the area named ‘Lansing Shoals’? thanks

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holly jorgenson April 12, 2014 at 7:27 am

casna, there is a small map with this article. i’m going to try to find it on the ais map.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lansing_Shoals_Light_Station

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Brent R April 12, 2014 at 8:10 am

If you want to see this on a map, you need an actual nautical chart. You can download one for free:
http://www.charts.noaa.gov/PDFs/14911.pdf

You’ll find it on the map in the area that Holly mentioned right above Squaw Island.

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Brent R April 12, 2014 at 8:30 am

Oh, I should probably mention that when you click on the link you might see the document start to open and then just hang with the busy icon. If this happens, you can click the down arrow next to the printer icon in the upper right to save the file. Or, you can go back and right click on the link and then select “Save Link As…” Then you can view the file with Adobe Reader. The file is good but sometimes the embedded reader doesn’t handle it properly.

Google Maps on satellite view shows Lansing Shoals but it isn’t marked. It also shows the deep channel between Squaw Island and the shoals.

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John April 12, 2014 at 10:43 am

Casna, the easy way to do this is to use the ais from boatnerd.com. One of the choices for the background is charts, which is the official navigational charts. I’ll paste the link below. Look for the Hollyhock, which is clearing ice near Lansing Shoal in northern Lake Michigan right now.

If you aren’t familiar with boatnerd.com, I’d suggest spending some time on it as it’s all about what’s going on on Great Lakes shipping. I look at the “news channel” at the beginning and end of the shipping season as that’s when this is most interesting to me. In the news channel, be sure you don’t miss “updates” which has the day’s photos that people have uploaded.

AIS link: http://ais.boatnerd.com/

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John April 12, 2014 at 10:45 am

Oops. It’s the Biscayne Bay that’s clearing ice out there at Lansing Shoal.

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Brent R April 12, 2014 at 12:01 am

The convoy has stopped for the night. Radisson went back to the place where it left off, arriving at about 8:30pm eastern, and then decided to swing a bit north farther away from the coast.
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3785/13790293373_1cf0f5eecf_b.jpg

Radisson ran for about 2 hours, stopping at 10:30pm. They’ve made it about 15 miles past where they were yesterday. Making 7-8 mph is pretty good. Recall that when Alder first went out breaking through 12″ thick ice, she was making about half that speed.

After halting, the ships began drifting slowly with the wind. Here you can see that Speer maneuvered to get out of Gott’s drift path.
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3668/13790806214_336fc80e86_b.jpg

The question tomorrow is the route.
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3671/13791020775_823b8f11ff_b.jpg

This maps shows roughly what the current ice looks like. The convoy wants to get from the position where they are now (circle) to east of Manitou Island (the arrow). If Radisson follows the coast (orange route) then they might make Manitou Island by sunset after 12 hours of steaming. If Radisson goes for a straighter course (red line), they could make it in as little as 8 hours.

Following the coast would seem to be the conservative course since we can see open water, particularly east of the peninsula. However, tomorrow around 9am eastern, the wind will be blowing out of the east at 8 mph. This will get stronger during the day (to 14 mph by 4pm) so by the time Radisson gets there, the open water may have closed up. The NOAA forecast is for ice along a direct route of only about 12″ thick. So, a more direct route could be best. I’m not sure if the convoy will stay within radio track range so their movements could become a mystery tomorrow.

However, the convoy is not the interesting part at this moment. That would be here: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3707/13791237575_a0dfc59814_b.jpg

It looks like Alder is headed up to Thunder Bay. My guess would be that she is going to help Tadoussac leave port. However, below Alder is a group of four ships. Morro Bay is leading with Katmai Bay second and Kaye Barker third. These ships about about 1 1/2 miles apart. Following the Barker about 4 miles back is Mesabi Miner. Their track is quite interesting to me because it looks like they are heading for the open water east of Isle Royale. They’ve been steaming for about 8 hours but have another 4 hours to go if they intend to reach the edge of the ice field. If they intend to actually enter the ice field at sunrise, that will give them only a few hours down time. The one good thing is that while steaming at night without breaking ice, it is possible for the off duty crew to sleep. Once they begin breaking ice, that becomes much more difficult because of the noise and vibration. With two groups on the move across Superior, tomorrow could be interesting.

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Casna April 11, 2014 at 8:01 pm

Greg,
uscg.mil has info about the Mackinaws and
Wikipedia has the dates and locations you wondered about in its article Mackinaw (WAGB-83).
I saw the current ship in Cheboygan. She’s a lot more impressive in person.

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Casna April 11, 2014 at 7:42 pm

The Superior convoy is moving- for awhile anyway.
Thanks Greg nice local history.

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Greg Hayden April 11, 2014 at 6:34 pm

My Dad life long Duluth resident Clem Hayden sailed the lakes 1937-1971. Dad was a life long amateur photographer, as I too became. I have a scan of a picture that Dad bought at the Soo, it shows a whole bunch of coal burning ships locked in the ice upriver from the Soo. It is titled The First Trip Up. I would like to send it to you but cannot figure out how?

The weather Duluth experienced this 2013-2014 winter season is the kind of weather I experienced growing up in Duluth from 1940. 1970 I escaped to Southern California where I remain.

Every spring ice was like this. I believe the Mackinaw, modeled on the Wind class USCG/US Navy ice breakers but longer and wider with a more shallow draft than them, was built 1942? 1943? @ AmerShip in Lorain? Due to WW II ore carriers attempted to sail all winter?

Back in those days though Duluth-Superior had a whole flock of steam G tugs. There was a G tug dock at DM&N-DM&IR ore docks with I believe four tugs stationed there. Same thing at Great Northern ore docks in Allouez WI. There were tugs stationed at headquarters that covered the grain elevators, etc. I do not recall it but my Mom told me that those tugs tried to keep the harbor open all those winters, with varying results.

Greg Hayden

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kelly April 11, 2014 at 5:15 pm

Wow, 22 freighter’s from Detour to Whitefish point.

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Brent R April 11, 2014 at 3:55 pm

Not much has happened today. Radisson came down and took the lead escorting Roger Blough to the St Marys River. Mackinaw then took Blough down the river, back to Sault Sainte Marie. And, since they they were down one freighter, Algoma Discovery came back up the river with Mackinaw. Radisson and Mackinaw are now escorting Discovery up Whitefish Bay to the convoy. At the speed they are moving, Radisson won’t be back at the head of the convoy for another 2 hours. I’m now wondering if they will make any progress before it gets dark.

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Casna April 11, 2014 at 3:41 pm

Speer, Laud, Cort and Gott are arranged in a crescent off the coast of L. Superior between the Jinny Palms Nature Preserve and Marsh Lakes areas.
Radisson and Mackinaw are leading the Algoma Discovery past Ile Parisienne -looks like to join the group.

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Brent R April 10, 2014 at 11:16 pm

This is kind of a funny image: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7139/13771643793_e5db206387_b.jpg

This shows the freighters Indiana Harbor, Thunder Bay, Munson, Burns Harbor, Oberstar, Callaway, Anderson, American Mariner, and Alpena heading east through the Straits at midnight. This seems funny because the ice-breakers, Hollyhock and Biscayne Bay, are stationary at the left.

Of course, what this image does not show is that Hollyhock spent 15 hours breaking ice along this route earlier in the day. The convoy west of Whitefish Point and even Mackinaw and Blough are also stationary right now. So they are probably being cautious and waiting until morning.

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Brent R April 10, 2014 at 8:26 pm

My guess is that Roger Blough must have gotten some damage in the ice and is returning to Sault Sainte Marie. She was being escorted eastward by Radisson and Mackinaw. Here, you can see that Mackinaw is escorting Blough south towards the St. Marys River while Radisson is heading back towards the convoy.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7404/13769593244_b8074e3a9a_b.jpg

This satellite image from today shows where Radisson made it before looping back to help Blough. You can see that if they follow the coast, there is open water past Marquette and up to Manitou Island. That tiny spur (which is actually about 2 miles wide) touching the shore must must be a thick pressure ridge to have stopped them for over 7 hours. But if they break through, it looks like they’ll go much faster. Normally it would be rather dangerous to hug the coast at night but now in the era of GPS navigation, I assume they can do it.
http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3756/13769356695_eeed0ee42e_b.jpg

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holly jorgenson April 10, 2014 at 8:29 pm

there was a report on facebook from one of the gott crew that blough suffered damage.

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Brent R April 10, 2014 at 8:32 pm

Well, actually in the above image, Radisson was still escorting Blough with Mackinaw around Whitefish Point. However, in this (the correct image), Radisson is heading back.
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7116/13769526665_ac314ce0bd_b.jpg

Since that radio track, Radisson has covered about 2/3rds of the distance shown and is about 2 miles east of Edwin Gott.

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Brent R April 10, 2014 at 5:50 pm

It looks like the system won’t tolerate more than one link. So, I can’t include more than one picture per comment. My original comment included radio tracks showing Casna’s cluster which is still there although Burns Harbor has moved a bit farther east. I also showed the cluster in the lower St. Marys which includes Tecumseh, Lee Tregurtha, Herbert Jackson, Paul Tregurtha, Radcliffe Latimer, and James Barker. Latimer is now about halfway up the St. Marys, escorted by Risley. And, I had one for the four Algoma ships which are currently at the Soo locks.

So, here is the latest news. Radisson spent 7 1/2 hours breaking ice over a track just 1 mile long. Radisson then turned around and looped back east: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7345/13767582995_8b576c920c_b.jpg

They are currently heading east with Mackinaw leading. I’m thinking that they might have decided to abandon the western route and head north past Caribou Island instead.

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Kenneth Newhams April 10, 2014 at 5:58 pm

I upped the system photo on a comment to 5; i did not know i had the power to do that. I hope it works
Ken

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Brent R April 10, 2014 at 5:26 pm

Mackinaw left the Soo Locks at 6:50pm eastern time on the 9th. The Edgar Speer then followed an hour later. The above radio track was obviously from earlier in the day.

Here you can see that Radisson initially headed north and spent some time breaking ice before heading west: http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2902/13763407504_beeb97806a_b.jpg

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Brent R April 10, 2014 at 5:28 pm

This might be clearer if we look at Roger Blough’s track which was following right behind Radisson: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7203/13763407104_4d1ca79c65_b.jpg

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Brent R April 10, 2014 at 5:28 pm

They are having a difficult time in the ice. The convoy has only moved about 10 miles in the past five hours. This image shows how confused the movement is: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3677/13763634343_0203d42250_b.jpg

Notice that Mackinaw (blue) has gone back to help Blough. Notice that the other ships are not in single file as they typically are in an ice track. Notice that Gott, Laud, and Speer are moving in different directions.

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Brent R April 10, 2014 at 5:25 pm

Mackinaw left the Soo Locks at 6:50pm eastern time on the 9th. The Edgar Speer then followed an hour later. The above radio track was obviously from earlier in the day.

Here you can see that Radisson initially headed north and spent some time breaking ice before heading west: http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2902/13763407504_beeb97806a_b.jpg

This might be clearer if we look at Roger Blough’s track which was following right behind Radisson: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7203/13763407104_4d1ca79c65_b.jpg

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Brent R April 10, 2014 at 5:24 pm

Mackinaw left the Soo Locks at 6:50pm eastern time on the 9th. The Edgar Speer then followed an hour later. The above radio track was obviously from earlier in the day.

Here you can see that Radisson initially headed north and spent some time breaking ice before heading west: http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2902/13763407504_beeb97806a_b.jpg

This might be clearer if we look at Roger Blough’s track which was following right behind Radisson: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7203/13763407104_4d1ca79c65_b.jpg

They are having a difficult time in the ice. The convoy has only moved about 10 miles in the past five hours. This image shows how confused the movement is: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3677/13763634343_0203d42250_b.jpg

Notice that Mackinaw (blue) has gone back to help Blough. Notice that the other ships are not in single file as they typically are in an ice track. Notice that Gott, Laud, and Speer are moving in different directions.

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holly jorgenson April 10, 2014 at 4:55 pm

not sure why these comments are out of order…

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holly jorgenson April 10, 2014 at 4:53 pm

it’s there, brent…
casna, you are the only one who sees your name and e-mail. it does not appear to anyone else.

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Casna April 10, 2014 at 4:59 pm

Thanks Holly. I don’t see Brent’s longer comment. What is the time on it? I suppose I messed something up. Typical …

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holly jorgenson April 10, 2014 at 5:04 pm

nothing messed up casna.
brent sometimes comments under ken’s most recent post, so it may be from yesterday or the day before…he gives fantastic updates on where the boats are and what they are doing.

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Casna April 10, 2014 at 5:11 pm

Ok Holly thanks. Right Brent’s comments are amazing. He’s got a lot of patience. I’ve been reading the site for quite awhile but have not posted anything before today. I noticed nothing much is posted during the day so I thought I’d try then.

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Brent R April 10, 2014 at 1:39 pm

Mackinaw left the Soo Locks at 6:50pm eastern time on the 9th. The Edgar Speer then followed an hour later. The above radio track was obviously from earlier in the day.

Here you can see that Radisson initially headed north and spent some time breaking ice before heading west: http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2902/13763407504_beeb97806a_b.jpg

This might be clearer if we look at Roger Blough’s track which was following right behind Radisson: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7203/13763407104_4d1ca79c65_b.jpg

They are having a difficult time in the ice. The convoy has only moved about 10 miles in the past five hours. This image shows how confused the movement is: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3677/13763634343_0203d42250_b.jpg

Notice that Mackinaw (blue) has gone back to help Blough. Notice that the other ships are not in single file as they typically are in an ice track. Notice that Gott, Laud, and Speer are moving in different directions.

There are three other clusters of ships. This is the cluster that Casna mentioned: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3684/13763682744_dddbbe43df_b.jpg

This is a cluster of ships in the lower St. Marys River consisting of Tecumseh, Lee Tregurtha, Herbert Jackson, Paul Tregurtha, Radcliffe Latimer, and James Barker: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3790/13763683054_948e100a2a_b.jpg

The ship American Integrity is a just a little farther south outside the St. Marys River in Lake Huron.

The third cluster is at the Soo Locks. These are the Algoma ships, Enterprise, Discovery, Equinox, and Olympic: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3692/13763356615_33d55790a1_b.jpg

The last image is quite discouraging. It shows that Radisson has been breaking ice for the past 4 hours over a track of only about 1 mile: http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2870/13764281214_60c266769a_b.jpg

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Brent R April 10, 2014 at 4:24 pm

The post above this one says “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” I’m sure this is the spam filter trying to catch ads since my post had so many links to images. However, I would like to know if my post is visible or if I need to try to post with fewer links.

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Casna April 10, 2014 at 4:40 pm

Brent I see the April 10 4:24 post, but nothing later. As I said I’m new and unfamiliar with the format, but shouldn’t your post be above mine at the top of the page ( above April 10 10:25). Also my name and E- mail is still showing in the comment blanks. Is that normal?

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Brent R April 10, 2014 at 5:55 pm

No, my comment that you replied to was actually a reply to an earlier comment of mine that you can’t see. That’s why it shows up lower. I can see my earlier comment but apparently no one else can.

I’ve realized that the system will hold my comments if I include more than one image link.

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Casna April 10, 2014 at 10:25 am

Clustered between Beaver Island Archipelago and Seul Choix Bay Area:
Hollyhock, Munson , Oberstar, Indiana Harbor, Thunder Bay, Burns Harbor, Cason Callaway, Arthur Anderson

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Paul Sando April 10, 2014 at 9:22 am

I agree with Pete. Pictures Ken! We need pictures of this convoy. Wave your wand, do that voodoo, and get us some!

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Casna April 10, 2014 at 8:38 am

Blough, Mackinaw, Raddison,Gott, Laud, Cort, & Speer are passing Whitefish Point. I’m new at this so please forgive errors.

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Pete April 9, 2014 at 9:36 pm

I would absolutely love to see an arial shot of this convoy moving through the ice. If only I had an airplane….

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Rita from Georgia April 9, 2014 at 7:29 pm

Wow, what a season! I thought it would be different, but never thought of this. It seems that everyone is loading and waiting in one place for the convoy to get here from the Soo then it will be all out musical boats trading berthing spaces and anchorage spaces in Duluth. This should make for an interesting time for a while. I think there are one or two salties headed your way as well. The St. Mary’s River is going to be a problem for a while and add to the mix. I heard someone say this could go on till May at least. It will be an adventure. I love adventure, but that can get old fast. Hopefully the convoy back won’t take 11 days. Lake Superior is sure showing her superior again.

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