Archives for April 2015

Wind turbine blades at anchor off Duluth piers

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On April 18th, the Johanna C (above) was off just off the coast of Newfoundland and due in Montreal on the 19th on her way to Duluth. She arrived Montreal on the 21st. By the 26th, she was in the Welland Canal, at Detroit on the 27th and at the Soo Locks on the 28th. She arrived off the Duluth piers last night (April 29th) as the sun was setting and dropped her anchor.She has wind turbine blades on her deck, the first to come to Duluth in several years. She is in the anchorage waiting for the Lady Doris (below) to complete her discharge of clay at the port terminal.
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Bringing clay for local paper mills from Brazil

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The Lady Doris came into port on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at 10:30 am with a cargo of Kaolin clay she loaded in Brazil.
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A local Great Lakes Towing tug met her after she came under the Lift Bridge and assisted while the ship moved up to the Port Terminal. To discharge the cargo, the ship needed to be tied up to the dock with bow pointing forward (toward downtown Duluth), so the tug helped her slowly turn around before moving to the dock to tie up .
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You can see the red crane that will be used to discharge the clay, which will take about 5 days working 24 hours a day. After discharge, the clay will be mixed with water, creating a slurry that will then go to local paper companies. She brought a similar cargo on her first trip to the Twin Ports on August 7th last year.
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Meanwhile, the Johanna C  is on her way to Duluth and should arrive on Wednesday with her main deck stacked high with wind turbine blades to be discharged at the Port Terminal after the Lady Doris is finished, in about 5 days. In the meantime, the Johanna C  will be at the outside anchorage while she waits, a scene that I am sure will attract local photographers.

The green Redhead comes in to load durum wheat

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The Redhead duck has a reddish head and spends the winter in Texas; the rest of the year in the Western United States and Canada. The Redhead ship is green and came into port on Monday afternoon, April 27th, 2015. She is a salt water ship sailing under a charter to Canadian Forest Navigation (Canfornav for short). The ships they work with are named after ducks. She is spending the night in the inner harbor, waiting to load durum wheat for Italy at CHS 1 after the Federal Mayumi finishes there.
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Just across the St. Louis River from Duluth

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The Federal Mayumi came into port Saturday evening, April 24th, 2015 and is now at CHS (above) in Superior loading wheat for Italy. This is her first trip to the Twin Ports. The American Integrity was loading coal at Midwest Energy Resources, just up the river from CHS. She departed late this morning with 66,000 tons of coal for the Detroit Edison power plant in St. Clair, Michigan.

First trip for Block to Twin Ports in 2015

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The Joseph L. Block came under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge on Saturday afternoon, April 25, 2015. She is here to discharge a cargo of limestone before leaving for Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets.
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Visiting the Kom

2015-0415-1039hollyThe Kom arrived on April 13, 2015, the first salt water ship of the season. It was her 5th trip to the Twin Ports; she first visited us on May 26, 1998, just a year after she was built in Varna, Bulgaria. She is owned by Navigation Maritime Bulgare in Varna. Captain Mariyan Yotov lives in Varna and all of the crew live in Bulgaria, some in Varna also.
(Click on any image to see a larger version)
My associate, Holly Jorgenson, joined me. She 2015-0415-959took this picture as we started our visit going carefully up the gangway. After that, it was only 5 more levels until we reached the pilot house. While we were up in the pilot house, the stevedores at CHS 1 were on the deck loading wheat into the cargo holds.There are two important people on any ship; the captain and the cook. Here Holly chats with the cook; it almost looks like she is praying for food.
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Holly found Captain Yotov’s Facebook page so you too can share some of his travels around the world. Everybody, and everything has a face book page. I was looking around the web for Kom Peak and found their Facebook page. They just sent me an email titled, Kom Peak confirmed your Facebook friend request. Now I am friends with a mountain!Several years ago, I created a web page for the Kom, and I included a Google Earth map to make sure we all knew where Bulgaria was. Captain Yotov likes maps too so he took us down a floor to give us a short tour around his world. First, he showed us home: Varna, his port city on the Black Sea.
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Then to Spain, and the port of LaCoruña, at the northwest tip of Spain, where they began their trip to Duluth.
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2015-0415-999When they depart the Twin Ports, they will be taking their cargo of wheat to a port in Italy where it will be used to make pasta. Then all officers and crew will be taking the short flight home to Varna; to be replaced by another all Bulgarian crew. I emphasize this since we don’t see this much anymore; Greek owned, operated and crewed ships (with a great Greek cook I might add) were here often and Polish ships the same. For a while the Dutch ships with all Dutch crews were here from the Netherlands. In fact, the captains on some of the Dutch ships have also been part owners of the ship they were on. That was nice; it was almost like visiting the country. Today, costs are cut and many companies have left the shipping business; crews are now often found from other countries with lower pay scales. So we welcome the Kom, a small part of Bulgaria, to Duluth Superior, still holding their country’s maritime heritage and helping us with ours.
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The Captain is often asked, as he was here, where the name Kom came from. It is named for Kom Peak in the Balkan Mountains in western Bulgaria, not far from the Serbian border. Above we see the view from the top of Kom Peak. The peak is 6,614 feet high and is a popular site for hikers. The country has many interesting neighbors; Romania to the north; Serbia and Macedonia to the west; Greece to the south and Turkey to the southeast. And of course, a long coastal connection to the beautiful Black Sea. Above, the view from the top of Kom’s Peak. Below, the city of Varna.
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2015-0415-1010On the way to sunny, almost warm Duluth, the Kom was caught up in the big ice jam at Whitefish Point in the eastern part of Lake Superior, just this side of the Soo Locks. Captain Yotov took us out to show us the bow of his ship which made countless surges into the ice; the white lines are the marks the ice left on her bow to show us they were there.
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Below, the Kom comes in for more grain on November 27, 2014.
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Kom comes to Duluth

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The Kom came under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge early this afternoon (April 13, 2015). She is the first salt water ship to arrive for the season, beginning her voyage in LaCoruña, Spain. She will load 12,100 tons of durum wheat for Italy where it will be milled into flour for pasta. This is her 4th visit to the Twin Ports; she was here 3 other times in November of 2008, 2010 and 2014. On each trip, as today, she will load grain at the CHS 1 grain terminal in Superior.
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She had help from 2 Great Lakes Towing tugs, the Minnesota on her stern and the Arkansas on the bow.
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Callaway under the Bridge

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The Cason J. Callaway departed Duluth on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, April 11, 2015, at 2:45 with iron ore pellets loaded at the CN dock in West Duluth.

Gott and Cort arrive under Lift Bridge

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The Edwin H. Gott arrived Duluth (above) on Friday morning, April 10, 2015 to load iron ore pellets at the CN dock in West Duluth. She was originally scheduled to spend winter layup in Duluth but spent layup in Milwaukee instead. Although owned and operated by Great Lakes Fleet, headquartered in Duluth, she was only here 3 times last year. She spends most of her season loading iron ore pellets in Two Harbors and taking them to Gary. Earlier this  week, the Stewart J. Cort came under the Lift Bridge (left) to get fuel at 2015-0403-716the  Calumet fuel dock at the Port Terminal before going to the BNSF Dock in Superior to load iron ore pellets. That has been her destination for many many years, and since the BNSF is just inside the Superior entry, we seldom see her coming under the Lift Bridge.

One finally out, four expected Friday

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The Whitefish Bay ice pack, assaulted by many Canadian and US Coast Guard vessels, and undoubtedly helped by warmer temperatures, broke up, and freed the vessels stopped in the ice for many days. Unfortunately, the downbound vessels have a long waiting line to get through the Soo Locks. Meanwhile the American Integrity finally departed Duluth this afternoon (April 9, 2015), the first departure from the Twin Ports in 4 days.

Whitefish Bay ice stops shipping on Lake Superior

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Check out this slideshow from Reuters