Archives for May 2014

What ice

Ice did not stop the Vista Star from cruising out into Lake Superior. Here they approach the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge just after the Paul R. Tregurtha arrived under it to load coal for Detroit Edison. Happy May 28th!

Have some ice with your salt water ships

We didn’t have a lot of ship traffic today (Memorial Day, May 26, 2014) but we had 2 salt water vessels sitting in the ice field just beyond the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge. In back, the Federal Mattawa has been at anchor for over a week. In front, the Apollon had been at anchor for sometime. Then last Friday evening, she came in from the anchorage to load durum wheat for Ravenna, Italy, a port on the north eastern coast of Italy, on the Adriatic Sea. They finished that and went back to the anchorage to wait for a pilot be become available, probably early this evening. We send a lot of wheat to Italy, and not surprisingly, it will eventually be used for pasta. The next time you are eating pasta in Italy, it might have come from Minnesota. The Apollon was built in 1996 as the Spring Laker. This is her 3rd trip to the Twin Ports. Last November, she was here to load bentonite. Her home port is in Athens, Greece where the ship’s officers live. The crew is from the Philippines.

Happy Memorial Day from Duluth

Top, the Federal Mattawa waits in the ice to load grain. Likewise, just below her (in the picture) is the Greek owned Apollon (the officers are  Greek; the crew is from the Philippines). The Vancouverborg, below them, is getting the hell out, with a cargo of beet pulp pellets for Greenore, Ireland, a deep water port on the Irish Sea. The port is privately owned, the town has a population of 898 people (in 2002) and it is famous for whiskey with the same name. There must be animals somewhere since beet pulp pellets are normally used for animal feed,  and are not known to be an ingredient in whiskey. Click any picture to see the ice better or the Google Earth map which locates Greenore.

Making up for lost time

Above, the Iryda came into port this morning (May 22, 2014) to load grain at CHS.
Above, the BBC Celina arrived under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge on May 21st to load grain at the CHS 1 grain elevator in Superior. The Apollon can be seen at anchor waiting to come in to load at the same terminal. Below, assisted by 2 Great Lakes Towing tugs, the BBC Celina moved up the harbor on her way to CHS 1.
Below, the Indiana Harbor departed last night with 66,000 tons of coal she loaded at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior. She is taking the coal to the Detroit Edison power plant in St. Clair, Michigan. It has been a while, I think, since a boat has departed here with that much coal. Usually, as last year, the largest cargo of coal was 64,000 tons. The additional cargo  no doubt reflects the higher water levels on the Great Lakes, which allow boats to carry more cargo. If some of the higher water is the result of the snow and ice that has been melting on the lakes and/or the decrease in water evaporation caused by the snow and ice, it is ironic that the same snow and ice that delayed the full start of the season by a month or more, is now allowing boats to carry more cargo, and helping make up some of the early season loss.
It was Wednesday night when the Indiana Harbor departed and it was the first Wednesday of the season for the sailboat races.  With ice still out in the lake, they stayed in the harbor and seemed to spend a lot of time around the Vancouverborg, at anchor in the inner harbor waiting to load grain at the Peavey elevator. She is now at Peavey and the Elbeborg, not seen here, has taken her place at the inner anchorage. She is also waiting to load grain.

Third day of spring in Duluth …

… March 22, 2014. The Cason J. Callaway departs Duluth. Seems like only yesterday.

Boland back in service today

The John J. Boland departing today (May 17, 2014) is one happy result of the delayed start to the shipping season. The Boland came in for winter layup on January 12th, 2013 and has been sitting at Fraser Shipyards in Superior until today when she was called back into service to help with the backlog of cargo. She left under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge this afternoon, on her way to Silver Bay to load iron ore pellets for hungry steel mills on the lower lakes.  She will discharge the pellets at the Cleveland Bulk Terminal at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. Those pellets will be loaded into smaller, river boats and carried to steel mills up river.
The saltwater vessel Apollon sits at anchor just beyond the Lift Bridge surrounded by the ice that refuses to melt.

American Mariner here for grain.

John Zywicki took this picture this  morning (May 14, 2014) while the American Mariner was loading grain at Duluth Storage, formerly the Cargill Elevator. She arrived early this morning for her first trip to the Twin Ports this season. Her self unloader is up and moved to the side so the grain loader can access her cargo holds.

Diana finally arrives Duluth

Grain pours into Diana's cargo holds while she loaded at CHS 1
At long last, the season’s first salt water ship, Diana, arrived in Duluth. Carole Lent was at the welcome party the Port Authority had aboard the ship and  took these pictures.
CHS loads wheat into Diana, first salt water ship to arrived Duluth in 2014
Diana was the first salt water ship of the season to make a full transit of the 2,342-mile trip to Duluth along the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system. Last year, we had the earliest visit ever of a salt water ship, arriving on March 30th. The Diana was the latest first arrival ever, just beating the May 3rd arrival of the  Ramon de Larrinaga in 1959, the first ever arrival of a salt water ship using the St. Lawrence Seaway system.The Diana began her voyage by discharging cargo in Santos, Brazil, before proceeding to the Twin Ports. The 453-foot ship will load approximately 11,550 metric tons of wheat at the CHS elevator before departing for Algeria.
diana081214carolelent-3The crew of the Diana was happy to answer questions and show the visitors around. This is Romi, the 3rd mate. He just started a 6 month tour on the ship.  He is from Constanta, Romania, a  port on the Black Sea and located in the middle of the Google Earth map below. Click on it, or any picture here, to see a larger version.

Hon. James L. Oberstar, Sept. 10, 1934 to May 3, 2014

The boat Hon James L. Oberstar arrived Duluth to salute the Congressman
Listen to her boat whistle as the Hon. James L. Oberstar sounded a full, formal Interlake Fleet Salute in honor of Mr. Oberstar. The Interlake Fleet Salute is 2 long blasts, followed by 3 short. The Captain will draw out the salute for full effect!  And, as is maritime tradition, the Bridge will return the salute.

Oberstar leaves a legacy to the Great Lakes

20110604_3088 James L. Oberstar died on May 3rd, 2014. He was our Congressman from 1974 until 2010. He served as Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee from 2006 until 2010. He was a true friend of Duluth, Minnesota, the Great Lakes and the shipping world.
20110524_2954 For his service to shipping on the Great Lakes, the Interlake Steamship Company renamed their boat, Charles M. Beeghly to the Hon James L. Oberstar in May, 2011. Interlake is in Cleveland but they brought almost the entire company up to Duluth on 3 airplanes for the rechristening on May 24, 2011. Duluth Mayor Don Ness was Oberstar’s campaign manager from 1997 to 2007. Here he is seated just behind Mr. and Mrs. Oberstar at the rechristening.
20110524_2949Oberstar’s wife Jean performed the official duty of renaming the boat with a bottle of champagne.
Behind her is James R. Barker, Chairman of the Board for Interlake and proudly watching  behind him, Congressman Oberstar.
Above, Oberstar chats with Adele Yorde, PR Manager for Duluth Seaway Port Authority. Below, the boat was brightly decorated and looked great with her new coat of paint.
Congressman Oberstar served Duluth with distinction. Thanks to Interlake Steamship, his boat will continue to serve Duluth and the Great Lakes for many more years.
He was in Duluth in May, 2004 for the official decommissioning ceremony for the Coast Guard cutter Sundew.

Sunshine, almost warm and boats, finally

The Algosteel arrived under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge this  morning (May 4, 2014) around 7 am and went straight over to the North American Salt dock to discharge the season’s first salt cargo. The James R. Barker departed Duluth around 10 in the morning with a cargo of coal for Marquette, Michigan.

3 again and still 1 more and then the Mac

The Mackinaw led a convoy of boats that arrived off the Duluth piers this morning (April 30, 2014).  Before they came in, the CSL Assiniboine departed around 8:25 morning and ran into some ice problems. The bad news; there were 7 boats in front of her waiting to come in. The good news: the Mackinaw was right there and after a couple hours of working the ice, the Assiniboine was on her way. The first three were the CSL Assiniboine, Cason J. Callaway and the Thunder Bay.
Half an hour later, the Whitefish Bay came in, followed by the Baie Comeau and then the CSL Tadoussac.
After the Bridge went down to clear some traffic, the Baie St. Paul came in alone. A little later, the Mackinaw, having watched her charges safely make it into the Duluth harbor, came in herself.