Archives for March 2016

Anderson arrives for first visit in new season

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The Arthur M. Anderson spent the winter layup in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. She left there on Sunday morning (March 27, 2016) and arrived in Duluth at 12:15 today (March 29, 2016) to load iron ore pellets at the CN dock in West Duluth. She made 19 trips to Duluth Superior last season and has averaged about 20 trips a year since 2010. She was the 9th boat to arrive Duluth Superior this season; the 6th to come under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge (the other 3 arrived by way of the Superior entry).
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Anderson page updates

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Munson page updates

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Michipicoten, finally a boat we can see

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The Canadian flagged Michipicoten departed Duluth this afternoon (March 23, 2016)  at 5:30 with the first cargo to leave the port, iron ore pellets from the CN dock in West Duluth. She is the former US flagged Elton Hoyt 2nd. The Hoyt sat idle at the Fraser Shipyards for 3 years after a career on the Great Lakes that started when she was built in 1952. In April, 2003, she was sold to Lower Lakes Towing, reflagged Canadian and renamed. Parts of the boat were built in Sparrows Point, Maryland and shipped to Chicago by way of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers for final assembly. Listen above as she salutes the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge as she departed today.

Gott will be first boat to move in season 2016

After spending the winter layup in Duluth, the Edwin H. Gott is expected to open the Great Lakes shipping season for Duluth when she departs the port early on Tuesday morning, March 22, 2016, for Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets. With no ice to battle this season, she should not need any assistance from an ice breaking tug or the Alder to leave her berth and go to Two Harbors. Not so last season. She was originally scheduled to arrive here last January, 2015 for winter layup but her plans were changed and she spent the winter in Milwaukee. She left Milwaukee last March to load her first cargo of the new season in Two Harbors but became one of many boats to be slowed to a stop by the ice in Whitefish Bay, at the other end of Lake Superior. With help from ice breakers Alder and Mackinaw, she finally arrived at this end of the lake, coming under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge on Monday morning, March 30, 2015 for some repairs before leaving here (below) for Two Harbors the next day to load her first iron ore pellets of the year in Two Harbors.
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Click pic below to see new Clarke updates

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Alder Opens 2016 season

Join the Alder and 25 members of LSMMA as they open the 2016 shipping season in Duluth Minnesota

First sign of Spring on Monday

The first sign of spring in Duluth is usually our Coast Guard cutter Alder’s first venture into the Duluth harbor in early March. I go over there to get ‘dramatic’ pictures as she gets the new season started breaking away from the ice that surrounded her since arriving at her dock in late January 2004-12-14-14h27m17after assisting all the vessel traffic to their winter berths. She has always made it out; some years with a little more work than others. This year, she marks the first sign of Spring on Monday, March 7, 2016. Actually, on February 22, she took a quick trip stern first to the middle of the harbor, turned around and backed her way back to her moorings at her dock on Park Point. 240207-2--077February is too early to see a sign of spring. That short trip was taken to position her bow for her eventual appearance as the first sign of spring a week or more away. Her pointed bow, as most bows, is curved to a point (ok, a rounded point) to ease the vessel through the water, and especially ice. Her stern was built to be and look like a stern, never the best face to put forward when breaking into ice.Above, left the Alder bow on December 14, 2004 while at her dock; right her stern just before she was launched in February, 2004.

Click here to see 58 other posts we have made about the Alder

The temperature today (Saturday, March 5, 2016) and tomorrow will be above freezing. That will make that trip on Monday, the 7th not as challenging as other years. The high temperature on Monday will be in the 40’s; she might be able to leave sideways with no trouble.

She will however have important cargo on board: 25 members of LSMMA (Lake Superior Marine Museum Association) will be guests of Commander Tschirgi as he heads out for his first first-sign-of-spring trip since he came on board last July 10th. As if to warn the new Commander about his coming task, Coast Guard dignitaries told the new Commander, his crew and invited guests at the ceremony last July that the last two winters were the toughest in Great Lakes history.

This is Commander Tschirgi’s first tour on the Great Lakes but lest you think he is a rookie, he also served tours in Antarctica and the Arctic. And, it has not been a bad winter, to say the least.

Below is a Coast Guard release from last Friday:

COAST GUARD ICE BREAKING ACTIVITIES

U.S. Coast Guard Cutter ALDER will commence spring break out operations in the Duluth-Superior area Monday March 07, 2016. These operations will continue periodically over the next few days and weeks to prepare regional waterways for the start of the Great Lakes commercial navigation season.

Initially, ice breaking operations will occur inside the Duluth and Superior Harbors. The ice breaking work will expand in coming weeks to prepare Two Harbors, MN, Taconite Harbor, MN, Silver Bay, MN, and Thunder Bay, Ontario for commercial ship movements.

Unlike the past two winters, this year was unseasonably warm. Regional ice cover is not as expansive nor did it reach traditional thicknesses. The forecast for the next seven to ten days calls for temperatures conducive to rapid deterioration of ice. All snowmobile, All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) operators, ice fishermen, and other recreational users of the ice should recognize the instability of the ice, plan their activities carefully, and use caution near the ice, especially in proximity to charted navigation areas.

Updates to James R. Barker page; click image below

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