Barker runs local deliveries

The James R. Barker departed Duluth today (July 15, 2015) with 58,000 tons of coal for Marquette, Michigan that she just completed loading at Midwest Energy Resources. She was just back from taking the same amount of coal to the Minnesota Power plant at Taconite Harbor. Thousand footers do not usually spend so much time making ‘local’ deliveries within Lake Superior. This was her 20th trip to the Twin Ports this season; she was here 43 times last year. Above, how she looked approaching the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge today; below, how she sounded.


  1. James R. Barker is now showing her (his?) AIS and is in the waters a good way east of Mackinac Island!

  2. Thanks!

    • Hi Pat. Ken’s schedule has been updated and there’s been a change in the Barker’s info.
      However I was confused. See my comment under Ken’s last article re the Algoma Marina …Nova Scotia (9/13) and continue to recheck the schedule. I believe it changes at least once a day.

  3. What’s happened to the Barker? Last I heard was dry dock in Sturgeon Bay. Significant (long) repairs? Prognosis?

    • Rita from Georgia says:
      August 14, 2015 at 5:16 pm
      The Barker is in Sturgeon Bay for the replacement of one of its crankshafts. This is from Boatnerd.

      I don’t know if anything has changed. Boatnerd gives a lot of news so you could check that but you have to wade through a lot of material. It’s fun though if you’re interested!

    • Pat, I just saw this on Ken’s shipping schedule. Hope he doesn’t mind my copying it. It’s for Sun. 9/20. Check the schedule because there’s another item for Barker. So I guess it’s in operation again.
      James R. Barker Expected to arrive Duluth at 04:00 for Midwest Energy to load coal . Loading for Presque Isle, MI. 1976 1004 USA

  4. How can I download the Barker’s boat whistle?

  5. Jill from Alabama says:

    Hello Casna! Don’t give up. Someone who knows more than I do will answer your question. I do agree that the Barker’s horn does indeed sound different from the others and I know it’s been commented on several times. It is a favorite of many Boatnerds! Hope you are having a nice summer.

    • Thanks. It’s been nice and cool, but I think that’s going to change.
      I have noticed that quite a few questions, even recently, haven’t been answered. I wonder if maybe a marine academy student couldn’t get some field work credit for researching and answering some of these , or if someone in Duluth couldn’t help out. I think some of the questions might require some interviews to answer , which would require someone of an official capacity or authorization. I’d answer some myself if I had a clue!

      • Jill from Alabama says:

        Did you ever get up to Duluth?

        • No, doggonit- but there’s always hope! My husband and I visited Superior ( his family was from there) when we got married , but that was before cams and before I knew anything about the Great Lakes or shipping. It would mean so much more to me now.

          • Jill, what does ‘manage subscriptions’ mean. I don’t like to sign for much for fear of ending up with a ‘can of helgramites’ that I can’t handle because of my computer incompetency.

          • Jill from Alabama says:

            Ha Ha!! Where is Ken when we need him??

  6. For the third time can someone PLEASE tell me why she has a two note (pitch, tone) whistle?

    • Scott Golden says:

      I think it has to do with how the air comes out and not that it a different kind of horn. Just my thought. THAT is how a ship should sound!

      • Thanks for your input, Scott!
        I was a music major once so I’m interested in the acoustics.
        I know that in winter the ships can sound like they have laryngitis. The captains don’t like to use the horns then because they can be damaged. So I was wondering if her horn had a problem or if she’s just more musical than the others!

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