Archives for January 2017

Alder in and out

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2017-0126-1076I took the picture above and to the right this morning, January 26, 2017. I was curious why the Alder was going out since the season was over since the Lee A. Tregurtha came under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge on January 16. I do not remember the Alder ever moving after the end of the season, much less 10 days after. Shortly after I took the picture, she turned around and returned to her dock at Coast Guard Station Duluth. We are having a very mild winter. That is open water on the bottom of the picture, even if it looks gray. I think she made that short trip to reposition herself at the dock for her first trip out in the ice in early March. She will break up the ice in preparation for the new season. By then, it might be a very cold winter. Since she breaks ice, she is the first ship to move in the new season, often around March 8. That means she needs to break her own ice that has formed since January around the vessel before she can help other vessels.
2008Jan21_4130PRODJanuary, 2008 was a very cold winter. I took the picture of the Mesabi Miner (right) arriving Duluth on January 21, 2008. She was the last traffic for that season. I went back to the South Pier Inn to warm up when the night nurse there told me there was a ship outside the window that was not moving. I politely suggested that he was wrong since I  just took a picture of her going under the Lift Bridge. I looked anyway. Sure enough, she was sitting in the ice, not moving (below). This was big news; Duluth was about to wake up and see a 1,000 footer stopped in the ice just behind the DECC.
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The Alder was planning to leave her dock about this time so she would be out to open up the channel for the Miner and wait to make sure she had no problems. This was a problem! I had been invited to go out with the Alder but had decided to stay warm in my office. I immediately drove down to Coast Guard Duluth and boarded the Alder just as they were ready to leave the dock. They were monitoring the Miner’s problem. Captain Marty Lightner was ready to get his tug Kentucky away from her dock to help the Miner get to her winter layup dock at Midwest Energy. He reported trouble getting away because of ice. The Alder fired up her engines and found she could not break out of the ice that had formed around her hull. Three boats were stuck in the ice. Two of them were ice breakers that were supposed to help the other boats. After a few minutes trying to get away, the Alder decided to fire up her buoy crane so she could move it back and forth from one side of the boat to the other.
2008Jan21_4145In the top right portion of the picture below, you can see the crane was moved over the ice on one side of the ship. It was then moved to the other side as they tried to rock the boat out of the ice. It worked. As we moved out, Lightner reported he was also under way and was close by the Miner, helping her to break away. That worked too. Three vessels got stuck and unstuck before they created a scene to show the populace of Duluth as they were getting up for work.
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We have it pretty good this year (so far).

Lee A. Tregurtha draws a crowd & a flag

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The Lee A. Tregurtha arrived Duluth at 1:43 early in the afternoon of January 16, 2017. She was the last of 9 boats that will spend the winter layup in Duluth Superior.
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A large crowd and one flag welcomed them into the Duluth Ship Canal. That is Jason Fyten in the brown/orange coat below the flag taking a picture while his girl friend, Amanda Victorson waves their flag. Jason is a summer tour guide on the William A. Irvin. He purchased the flag at Anchor Bay Outfitters (At Anchor Bay Outfitters we live the Sailor life. We design Boat Watcher gear that is voted on and approved by our customers and friends. #BoatWatchersRock). The flag flew on the Irvin last summer and will probably be there again this coming summer.
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When you look at the flag from the front, as I seemed to have neglected to do, it reads:
Boat
Watcher
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Arthur M. Anderson home for the winter

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The Great Lakes Fleet’s Arthur M. Anderson arrived Duluth for winter layup on Sunday, January 15, 2017 just after noon. This was her 22nd and last trip to Duluth this season. On most of those trips, she brought limestone in and then usually departed for Two Harbors where she loaded iron ore pellets
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Winter Layup 2016-17

VESSEL DOCK/LOCATION Arrival Date
American Century Clure Terminal Berth 11 January 3, 2017
American Spirit Clure Terminal Berth 8/9 January 7, 2017
Burns Harbor Enbridge Dock January 9, 2017
Herbert C. Jackson Fraser Shipyards January 10, 2017
Paul R. Tregurtha Midwest Energy January 10, 2017
Philip R. Clarke Clure Terminal Berth 1 Sunday, Jan 15 (5:55am)
Arthur M. Anderson CN Dock (east side of 6) Sunday, Jan 15 (12:17pm)
Lee A. Tregurtha Fraser Shipyards Monday, Jan 16 (1:43pm)
Roger Blough Clure Terminal Berth 4 Sunday, Jan 16 (5:53am)

John B. Aird departs Duluth, January 13, 2017

The John B. Aird arrived Duluth on January 12, 2017 to discharge salt at Hallett Dock #8. She left late this morning (Friday, January 13, 2017). See all the pictures below of her departure this morning. This was her 4th and last trip to the Twin Ports this season. On March 30, 2016, July 6th, 2016 and November 23, 2016, she was here to load iron ore pellets at the BNSF dock. She was here 3 times last year and 6 the year before.
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Barker last thousand footer to leave

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The James R. Barker departed Duluth late this afternoon (January 12, 2017) with a cargo of iron ore pellets she loaded at the CN dock in West Duluth. That is the Great Lakes Towing tug Kentucky assisting her through the Duluth harbor. She is the last 1,000 footer to depart the Twin Ports this season. Four other 1,000-footers are already in port for winter layup: the Paul R. Tregurtha, American Spirit, Burns Harbor and the American Century
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Assiniboine makes last trip out for 2017

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After discharging salt, the CSL Assiniboine went over to CN Duluth to load iron ore pellets. She departed on Monday afternoon, January 9, 2017, coming out of the St. Louis River and turning into the Duluth harbor above. She passed two American Steamship boats already in port for winter layup. That’s the American Century in the foreground and the American Spirit behind her. The tug North Carolina is seen just off the bow of the Assiniboine. She had made several passes through the track just ahead of the Assiniboine. She was also back at the CN dock earlier clearing some ice away. Below, she made it through the ice without much trouble and is seen below approaching the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge, just behind the Pier B Resort.
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