Alder back from Thunder Bay today

Alder Commander Charter B. Tschirgi brought his Alder back to Duluth around 4 pm today (January 11, 2018). While I am hiding in a sick bed, I did hear his whistle when he went under the Lift Bridge today and managed to get a screen capture from my web cam (above). He reports the following:

We just returned from helping the Thunder BayWhitefish Bay and CSL Assiniboine lay up in Thunder Bay yesterday. We set in a "spring" breakout track from the South Harbor Basin to the open water and have used it to assist a total of six Canadian ship’s lay up.

Lake Superior between Duluth and Thunder Bay is free of ice. Thunder Bay has fast ice from outside the breakwalls to the Welcome Islands. It is 10-12 inches think.

Note: The US Coast Guard and Canadian Coast Guard cooperate in their ice breaking activities on the Great Lakes. Their cutter Samuel Risley has often come to Duluth to help when we have had serious ice problems.

American Integrity in, Edgar B. Speer out

The American Integrity arrived Duluth on January 5, 2018 around 1 pm (above). She is over at the CN loading iron ore pellets. Below, the Edgar B. Speer departed Duluth about an hour later after getting gas at Husky Energy. She is now at the outside anchorage waiting to load iron ore pellets at the BNSF.
This is the 28th trip the American Integrity has made to the Twin Ports this season. She was here 31 times last season. We see the Speer not so often; this is her 6th trip here this season; she was here 4 times last season.

There are 8 vessels waiting off the Duluth piers today

There are, I think, 7 boats at anchor off the Duluth piers waiting to go to BNSF in Superior and one, the Algoma Equinox, waiting to go to the CN in Two Harbors. These are pictures I took of those boats around 2 PM Wednesday, January 3, 2018. I am writing this at 4 PM the same afternoon. There will be changes as time goes on. Please let me know if you think I have the wrong names for any of the vessels. Above, the St. Clair is at anchor just off the Duluth Lift Bridge.  (The Mesabi Miner is at BN now. She may depart late this afternoon.) (The pictures above and below were taken moving left to right.) (There is a nice article in the Duluth News Tribune this morning providing more details)
Front to back: Thunder Bay, John G. Munson, CSL Assiniboine
Front to back: Algoma Equinox, Presque Isle
Whitefish Bay
Algoma Discovery

The Thunder Bay here with salt on January 2, 2018.

The Thunder Bay arrived in the icy Duluth harbor around noon today (January 2, 2018) with a cargo of salt she will discharge at the Hallett #8 dock. She will then move to Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets. This her 29th trip here this season and the second time she brought a salt cargo to discharge; the previous time was her last trip here on November 29, 2017. She loaded iron ore pellets at the CN Duluth dock twice this season; the rest of her trips here, she loaded iron ore pellets at the BNSF in Superior. Below, I took a picture of the harbor when she arrived. The black dot at the center right is one of the Great Lakes Towing tugs, waiting to see if she needed help getting through the ice.

St. Clair in, out Duluth, then in Superior, BN and out Superior

After coming in around 7:30 this morning in get gas at Husky , at the Port Terminal, the St. Clair departed Duluth around 11:30 am New Years Eve, 2017. She will wait at anchor for the Burns Harbor to finish at BN, and the Mesabi Miner and the Algoma Discovery. In fact, she will come in sometime next year! (The black dots on the ice, upper left, are ice houses, presumably with fishermen inside, hopefully keeping warm.)

Boland left Duluth for Superior, Barker for Detroit

Heavy boat traffic in Duluth! After some repairs at Fraser Shipyards, the John J. Boland (above) was moving down (or up) the Duluth harbor just after 10 am this morning (December 20, 2017). She would go under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge and over to the Superior entry and to the BNSF terminal just inside the entry to load iron ore pellets. The James R. Barker (below) arrived Duluth on December 19th to load coal at Midwest Energy. Here she is departing with 68,000 tons of coal for two Detroit Edison power plants a little later. Very early this morning, the Beatrix departed with 12,000 metric tons of spring wheat bound for the United Kingdom. She was the last saltwater ship to depart the port this season.