Alder getting port ready to close down

The Alder was out this morning (Wednesday, January 13, 2016), preparing a path for the last vessel traffic of the season. (see picture of harbor and the tracks the Alder laid  down at the bottom of this page)
Information from the Duluth Seaway Port Authority
Duluth-Superior shipping season winds to a close;
7 lakers to be in Port for winter layup
Duluth, Minn., U.S.A. (1/12/16) – The Port of Duluth-Superior is welcoming seven ships for winter layup this year. In fact, the Indiana Harbor laid up early (on Nov. 3) and a major repowering project is already underway at Fraser Shipyards on the Herbert C. Jackson, in dry dock since early December.
The Soo Locks (at Sault Ste. Marie) are set to close at midnight on Friday, Jan. 15. By then, four more wintering vessels are expected to have arrived in the Twin Ports beginning Thursday morning with the anticipated arrival of the Edwin H. Gott, followed Friday or later by the American Century, the Kaye E. Barker and the Philip R. Clarke. We say “expected” to arrive as transit times vary with wind and weather.
Boatwatchers will have to wait just a little longer for the arrival of the very last laker – the Paul R. Tregurtha – as the thousand-footer is making one or two late season, intra-lake deliveries of iron ore. Her arrival beneath the Aerial Bridge next week will officially mark the end of the 2015 Great Lakes shipping season here in the Twin Ports.  [Note: Last ‘saltie’ of the season, Federal Bering, departed Duluth on Dec. 18; the St. Lawrence Seaway closed on Dec. 31.]
In all, seven (7) Great Lakes freighters will be wintering in the Twin Ports this year:
Vessel Location ARRIVAL
Indiana Harbor Enbridge Dock 11/03/15
Herbert C. Jackson Fraser Shipyards 12/11/15
Kaye E. Barker Fraser Shipyards
Edwin H. Gott Port Terminal Berth 1
Philip R. Clarke Port Terminal Berth 4
American Century Port Terminal Berth 6/7
Paul R. Tregurtha Midwest Energy Resources Co.

While ships’ crews will take the next few, well-deserved weeks off, there is no real ‘down time’ on the waterfront. Hundreds of workers – engineers, welders, pipefitters, mechanics, electricians and others –will spend the next eight weeks doing heavy-duty maintenance and repair work so these vessels are ready to sail when the Soo Locks reopen on March 25 and the 2016 Great Lakes-Seaway shipping season gets underway.
The Jackson’s conversion is part of $110 million that U.S. vessel operators will spend on maintaining/modernizing ships during this offseason, according to Lake Carriers’ Association. Repairs and maintenance work will constitute $60 million of that total while the rest will be taken up by special project work, such as repowering or installing exhaust scrubbers.



  1. Paul Sando says:

    Ken, what is involved with the Jackson’s repowering? Is it the switch from steam turbine to diesel prime movers? Discerning Boatnerds wanna know.

  2. Are there any web cams on the bay side. It would be great to see the ships after they come into harbor.

  3. Things are looking more normal now except for Paul Tregurtha and Michipicoten. It looks like Kaye Barker will arrive at Duluth in about 3 hours which would be close to noon, Central time. American Integrity and Mantoulin are heading for the Soo locks. Michipicoten is heading to Two Harbors. I’m not really sure where the Paul is heading. They are steaming north of Isle Royale like they do when ice is blocking a direct route east. However, Michipicoten just came that way west, above Copper Harbor, about five hours ago. I ran through the webcams around Lake Superior, the Soo locks, Mackinac Straits, Lake Michigan and the Detroit River but I’m not seeing much ice. The Grand Haven cam shows a fair amount wind blowing out of the west though. It also looks like the ice at Duluth has been pushed to the east side of the harbor. I guess we’ll eventually see what the Paul is up to.

    • brent, heard on facebook, the PRT is taking iron ore from two harbors to Essar at the soo. if that’s her last load, then she will return to the twin ports for layup. soo locks close tonight at midnite.

  4. Rita from Georgia says:

    Wow! End of season already. I guess all good things come to an end. The best thing is it is only for a few months. A long time for this boatnerd! Glad spring comes early in the south. Hope the crews have a restful off season. Thanks for your lay-up information, Ken. It is always appreciated.

  5. That’s an interesting perspective on the harbor/track photo. Haven’t seen that view before, I like seeing some railroad cars now and then. The layouts on the industry properties are interesting too but except for satellite views on maps we don’t see those much- security I suppose.

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