Royalty arrives Duluth on Easter

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The Beatrix has been at anchor off the Duluth piers (above, left) for several days. She was soon joined by the Riga. The Beatrix, the ship, not the Queen, arrived Duluth this afternoon (below) , Easter Sunday, April 16, 2017 to load wheat at CHS. The Riga is expected in Monday morning; she will also be loading wheat, but at Riverland Ag.
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3 lighthouses, one 1,000 footer, one aerial bridge and

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queenbeatrix… royalty at anchor off the Duluth piers. The Royal Wagenborg company in The Netherlands usually adds a –borg at the end of their ships’ name, but not the Beatrix, a ship they launched in 2009 with the help of their Queen Beatrix. Queens stand alone; you do not rename your Monarch. The ship was christened by HM Queen Beatrix herself. Despite the fact the the Queen abdicated her crown in 2013, her ship still proudly sails the world’s oceans. And she makes due with a golden carriage. Oh yes, her namesake is at anchor off the Duluth piers. And oh yes, that is the Paul R. Tregurtha coming under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge this morning (April 15, 2017) at noon.

Second visit to Duluth for Solina

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The Solina arrived off the Duluth piers on Wednesday, April 12, 2017. After going under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge, she picked up assistance from two Great Lakes Towing tugs for her trip to the CHS grain terminal in Superior where she will be loading wheat.
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More pellets for CSL Assiniboine

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The CSL Assiniboine was an early arrival this year when she came under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge on March 27 to get fuel before moving over the BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe) to load iron ore pellets. She was back again today (above, April 11, 2017) to follow the same path. Last year and the year before, she made 11 trips here. Last year, on 10 of those trips, she loaded at BNSF, but on her last trip of the season, on January 7th, she brought in a cargo of salt she discharged at Hallett #8 before crossing the St. Louis River to load iron ore pellets at the CN Dock

The real first vessel under the Lift Bridge

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April 7, 1905: The Bon Ami becomes first vessel to enter the Duluth-Superior Harbor passing under the Aerial Transfer Bridge

By ThisDay • Published April 7, 2017

On this day in Duluth in 1905, the Bon Ami became the first vessel to pass through the Duluth Ship Canal from the lakeward side and pass under the brand new Duluth Aerial Transfer Bridge before entering the Duluth-Superior harbor. The Bon Ami, a 108-foot wooden steamer, had set out for Port Wing and Herbster, fishing towns along the Wisconsin South Shore. Heavy ice on the lake forced her back to Duluth, and she entered the harbor’s safety through the canal, and therefore under the bridge.
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Not until April 20 did the E. N. Saunders come in off the lake to become the first vessel to navigate from Sault Ste. Marie to Duluth and enter through the canal, under the bridge. Back in 1871, the Frank C. Fero, a tugboat, became the very first vessel to go through the canal. That was on Sunday, April 30, the day after the dredger Ishpheming finished its initial cut of the canal after taking its first bite out of Portage Street on Minnesota Point September 5, 1870. The first vessel to pass below the Aerial Lift Bridge was the Corps of Engineers tug USS Essayons on March 29, 1930. The first automobile passed over the transfer bridge on April 8, 1905. The first car to drive over the lift bridge did so on January 12, 1930; the first streetcar passed over the lift bridge on March 29, 1930. Read about the life of Duluth’s Aerial Transfer Bridge, predecessor to the Aerial Lift Bridge, here.

Thanks to Zenithcity.com for top picture and text; to Duluth Public Library for picture just above

Minnesota Slip Bridge under repair??

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DATE: 3/13/2017
SUBJECT: Minnesota Slip Bridge in Canal Park to Get Improvements Starting March 20
BY: Phil Jents, Communications Office, City of Duluth
Minnesota Slip Bridge in Canal Park to Get Improvements Starting March 20

[Duluth, MN] – The City of Duluth has been working since last year with its consultant engineer, LHB Corp, on a retrofit design to improve operations of the Minnesota Slip Bridge in Canal Park, also known as the blue pedestrian bridge.

The City’s consultant engineer helped design new custom manufactured parts for the 26-year-old bridge which has been riddled with repairs and closures since it first opened. Many of the custom manufactured parts have been machined and are ready for installation by Lakehead Constructors. The project will replace the existing spool and cable system with a rack and pinion system. The new rack and pinion system will operate much more reliably than the existing system.

Construction operations are scheduled to commence on March 20, 2017 and are expected to be complete by the first week of June. The Bridge will be closed again later in the fall to receive a new shade of blue paint.

During the month of May, the bridge will be pinned up to allow for marine traffic in and out of the slip, but the bridge will remain closed to pedestrians. Pedestrian traffic will be rerouted around Lake Avenue onto Railroad Street, then Harbor Drive to access the
Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. At the conclusion of this project, the public will enjoy a much more reliable and aesthetically pleasing bridge capable of operating in almost any weather.

Mayor Larson welcomes Captain Morosanu to Duluth

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Duluth Mayor Emily Larson welcomed Lake Ontario Captain Costelus Morosanu to the city, congratulating him for bringing the first salt water vessel of the season into port on Sunday, April 2, 2017. While visitors were along to welcome the Captain and his crew to Duluth, longshoremen at Riverland Ag were loading 19,000 tons of spring wheat into the ship’s cargo holds (below). With good weather, they hope to complete loading on Tuesday evening, after which they will depart for Italy, where their cargo will be used to create pasta, some of which will likely make its way back to the United States. Prior to Duluth, the ship was working between Liverpool and the Netherlands before loading scrap in Latvia that they took to Laplace, Louisiana, on the Mississippi River just north of New Orleans. From there they left the Gulf of Mexico and sailed north along the East Coast of the United States to Halifax for fuel before entering the St. Lawrence Seaway system and to make their long trip to Duluth
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Lake Ontario first salt water ship 2017

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The Lake Ontario came in from her anchorage off the Duluth piers at 5:39 pm on Sunday, April 2, 2017.
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With an assist from the tug Kentucky, she moved over to Riverland Ag/Duluth Storage on Rice’s Point to load grain. Before entering the St. Lawrence Seaway for Duluth, she discharged cargo at Halifax, Nova Scotia. Beginning Monday morning, she will load approximately 19,000 metric tons of spring wheat at Riverland Ag/Duluth Storage. With good weather, she will depart for Italy late Tuesday.
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John D. Leitch arrives for pellets

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The John D. Leitch arrived Duluth at noon on March 31, 2017. She will follow the Baie St. Paul loading iron ore pellets at the CN dock in West Duluth. It is the first trip of the new season for both Canadian flagged vessels. The Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin will be the 3rd consecutive Canadian vessel to pick up pellets at the CN after she arrives later today. I like to see the Leitch here; she has one of the most interesting looks of any vessels that visit Duluth. I just updated the images for the Leitch that I have from past visits; you can see that on the Leitch page.

Philip R. Clarke back for fuel

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The Philip R. Clarke is back in town to get fuel; she will then depart for Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets. She spent her winter layup here, leaving for Two Harbors on March 22nd. She made 21 visits to Duluth last year and 17 the year before. Last year, she usually brought limestone in before loading iron ore pellets in Duluth or Two Harbors.

Cason J. Callaway departs Duluth

With the first lakers departing Duluth from their layup here and the first lakers that wintered elsewhere arriving, it is time to wait for the first Salt water ship to arrive. Go here to see past posts of the first salty arriving Duluth

2017-0327-1342 After spending winter layup in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, the Cason J. Callaway left there on March 23 heading for the Soo Locks and the long trip across Lake Superior to Duluth, arriving here at 6:57 PM on March 26. She is seen here departing Duluth on Monday afternoon, March 27th after loading iron ore pellets at the CN Dock in West Duluth. 2017-0327-1361

Lee A. Tregurtha is 4th boat to leave

2017-0323-1311 The Lee A. Tregurtha left Duluth at 4:00 this afternoon, March 23, 2017. She was the 4th laker to depart Duluth in the new season. The Paul R. Tregurtha is likely to be the first laker to arrive in the Twin Ports although she has not left yet. She is expected to depart later tonight with coal for Silver Bay, giving her time to get back for more coal and celebrate her status of 5th laker out/first laker in!!

First light, first boat

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The Roger Blough opened the shipping season in Duluth this morning (March 22, 2017) at 7:30. Above, at left, she starts down the Duluth harbor on her way to the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge. Just to the right is the American Spirit, expected to break away from her winter layup berth on Saturday (March 25, 2017) to go over to CN Duluth to load iron ore pellets. The American Century is seen at the right. She is expected to depart on Thursday (March 23, 2017) for Silver Bay to load iron ore pellets.
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Above, the Blough goes under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge this morning; below, there were many folks out to get a picture of the ‘first ship.’ The only ice to be found was a couple spots on the pavement. The harbor, ship canal and the lake (at this end, at least) were ice free.
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Below, Jason Fyten  had his Boatwatcher flag out to celebrate the occasion. Duluth News Tribune Photo Editor Bob King stands next to Jason, waiting for the Blough.
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Season 2017 begins tomorrow

2017 Commercial Shipping Season gets underway Wednesday in Port of Duluth-Superior, from Duluth Seaway Port Authority

 

240802-1-096Duluth, Minn., USA (March 21, 2017)— The first U.S.-flag lakers are expected to depart the Port of Duluth-Superior tomorrow, Wednesday, March 22, signaling the start of the 2017 commercial shipping season at this, the farthest inland port on the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway system.

Exact times are difficult to pinpoint during start-up (i.e. ‘fit-out,’ in industry terms), but the first departure may very well take place while most folks are still asleep! The Roger Blough is expected to leave its berth at the Clure Public Marine Terminal at first light Wednesday and depart beneath Duluth’s famed Aerial 210827-113Bridge en route to the CN Docks in Two Harbors to load iron ore. After fueling late afternoon/early evening, another Great Lakes Fleet vessel, the Philip R. Clarke, will also head to Two Harbors to take on its first cargo of the season. Both vessels, with deliveries to make to steel mills on the Lower Lakes, will proceed across Lake Superior toward Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., to await the opening of the Soo Locks at 12:01 a.m. on Sat., March 25. The Blough is expected to be the lead ship downbound as she was in 2016.
2007Sep16_2810PRODInterlake’s flagship, the 1013.5-ft Paul R. Tregurtha, wintered at the Superior Midwest Energy Terminal and is scheduled to load coal there Wednesday, then move to the Clure Terminal for final preparations before leaving for Silver Bay tomorrow night/early Thursday. After discharge, that vessel will return to Superior to load coal for its first inter-lake delivery to the St. Clair Power Plant in Michigan.

Two more Interlake Steamship Co. freighters that wintered in the Twin Ports – the Lee A. Tregurtha and the Herbert C. Jackson – are expected to depart late Wednesday, as well. The Lee A. is in position to leave Fraser Shipyards first, sometime midday. Both vessels will stop to fuel at the Calumet dock in Duluth before heading out to Two Harbors and Silver Bay, respectively, to load iron ore.

The Burns Harbor is due to move from its layup berth to the BNSF Railway Dock to load iron ore Wednesday before departing via the Superior Entry. American Century is set to leave Thursday to load in Silver Bay while fleet mate, the American Spirit, is expected to move to the CN Duluth Dock to load iron ore over the weekend before getting underway.

NOTE: All vessel departure/arrival times are estimates and are subject to change without notice.

With the Soo Locks opening Saturday and virtually ice-free conditions across the Lakes, Port of Duluth-Superior could see its first arrival from the Soo on Sunday, most likely the Stewart J. Cort, the James R. Barker or the Cason J. Callaway, but that’s still too close to call. For updates, www.duluthboats.com. Watch real-time transits at www.marinetraffic.com or http://ais.boatnerd.com or on mobile devices with Marine Traffic or Ship Finder apps.

Rapid deterioration of ice

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On March 13, the US Coast Guard sent out the following information (see below) regarding the Coast Guard cutter Alder (above) and her upcoming ice breaking activity. It contains the following description of the current situation: “temperatures conducive to rapid deterioration of ice.” I took these 3 pictures today (March 15, 2017). The Alder is sitting at the Coast Guard station on Park Point. Below is the Duluth harbor. In the last couple of weeks, it has seen high winds coming from both the east and west. There are 3 outlets for the water and ice to move. In or out of the Duluth ship canal, below; in or out of the Superior Entry, just below, in the upper left and the St. Louis River, the mouth of it seen at the top right. The ice has been moving in and out and around but certainly not increasing in over all size. Daylight like today, much longer than the days in December, insures the ice is in a loosing battle with Mother Nature. That is mostly because the ice missed its usual opportunity to dig in so it would be hard to kick out; the cold temperatures of January and February. They were not there, leaving the ice without is armor. We are still 16 days before April 1, the date the Indiana Harbor tried to depart using the Duluth ship canal on that day in 2003. She tried 9 times to break thru the ice but finally had to give up the fight and wait, presumably for Coast Guard support. But several days later, they quit trying; there was only one thing left to do; wait for Mother Nature to do her work. Which of course she did. But until she did, no traffic departed or arrived using the Duluth ship canal for 20 days, when the Walter J. McCarthy finally made it out on April 21st. Read all about it here.
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View of Duluth harbor, half filled with ice

At the moment, the Paul R. Tregurtha will be the first scheduled traffic to move this season when she departs her winter berth at Midwest Energy Resources on March 22. Check our schedule at DuluthBoats.com

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Looking through the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge to Lake Superior

March 13, 2017: United States Coast Guard: U.S. Coast Guard Cutter ALDER will commence spring break out operations in the Duluth-Superior area Thursday March 16, 2017. 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 the following days to prepare Two Harbors, MN, Taconite Harbor, MN, Silver Bay, MN, and Thunder Bay, Ontario for commercial ship movements.
Unlike some previous 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.

 
 

Lake Superior ice blown around by wind

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Two days ago, an East wind drove a lot of Lake Superior ice to our end of the Lake (above). Yesterday and today, we have had very high winds out of the west. Above, on March 6 we see the result of the East Wind, with a lot of ice in front of Duluth. After two days of West wind, a lot of that ice went back to the Lake. The Duluth harbor, connected to Lake Superior by the Duluth ship canal, followed the pattern, as you would expect. Two days ago, the harbor was full of ice, now it is full of blue water.
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Images from the NOAA – Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, with a nice animation of the events.

More ice from the East Wind

ice from Lake Superior was blown into the Duluth harbor
Ice from Lake Superior was blown in last night into the Duluth harbor through that convenient opening we have called the Duluth Ship Canal. It looks like most of the harbor, ship canal and out into the lake a ways is filled with this loose ice. Even though the next 7 days are going to be significantly colder than today (44 degrees on March 6 2017), there is too much daylight for the ice to have a chance to survive and cause problems for ship traffic, which may begin on March 22 when the Paul R. Tregurtha departs her winter berth to take a cargo of coal to Silver Bay. At the moment, that is the only coal shipment scheduled  this year within Lake Superior. Her next trip would be her usual route to St. Clair, Michigan at Detroit Edison.
Loose ice fills Duluth ship canal


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The East wind works her magic on Lake Superior

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The day (March 5, 2017) started cloudy and cold with a predicted high of 52; late afternoon the sun appeared but the temperature never got above 42. An east wind made my walk a little brisk but that was nothing compared to what it did to the ice on Lake Superior. After weeks of blue water, Lake Superior ice, not our ice for sure, arrived to slow our hopes for an early spring. I copied the images below from the NOAA-Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory web page; specifically the images from the set on the right side called Ice Thickness.
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If you click on the picture I took at the top, you can see ice in the ship canal under the Lift Bridge brought in by the east wind but the ice seems to hug the shore as it creeps along to the larger sheet of ice in the back of the Duluth harbor, as seen in the second picture.It would not surprise me to see the front of the harbor filled with ice by the morning. (Caution: if the ice does not fill the front of the harbor in the morning, I will probably delete the above prediction)

We will have lower than normal temperatures for the next week but by this time in March, the ice doesn’t have much of a chance with the days getting longer. Ice is nice during the dark days of December but it has a losing fight against the longer daylight hours.I doubt this ice will have much effect on the start of the shipping season in a couple weeks but what do I know.

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Pathfinder in Cleveland

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According to AIS, the Pathfinder (see post below) made it to the Cleveland Bulk Terminal last night (February 28, 2017) (top, left). If things go the way I at least think they will, after loading iron ore pellets there, she will move over to the Cuyahoga River and slowly move up to the ArcelorMittal steel mill, lower right. That curly thing between the two is the Cuyahoga River shipping channel, her route to the steel plant, about a 6 mile trip. That shows why the 1,000 footers drop their pellets at the Terminal and let the smaller vessels navigate the river. Click the above for a larger look. Go here for some spectacular pictures of the area.



Great Lakes Shipping, 2017, begins

I pay a lot of attention to the start of our (Duluth) shipping season, but a note from the Lake Carriers’s Association today reminds me that there are in fact, 4 other Great Lakes that have shipping seasons. And those south of us can get a head start since we are often encased in ice until mid-March or later.
20091021_3763PRODThe Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder was set to depart her layup berth in Erie, Pennsylvania today and head over to the Cleveland Bulk Terminal to load iron ore pellets to carry up the Cuyahoga River to the ArcelorMittal steel mill. A lot of those iron ore pellets are brought down from Silver Bay and Duluth Superior.
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Their note indicated that the Paul R. Tregurtha will depart Duluth on March 22, 2017, with coal for Silver Bay.



Early Spring??

View of Duluth harbor, the Duluth Aerial Llft Bridge and Lake Superior.
After a fake Spring, it is February 24, 2017 and it is cold again but Duluth stayed just north of a big snow storm going east. The lake is still blue, and below, the Duluth harbor ice has moved back, toward Superior. But it will come back, I think; we shall see.
Duluth harbor ice
Above, February 24, 2017; below, pictures taken February 18, 2017
View from Skyline Drive of Lake Superior and the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge
We have had a warm winter, no day warmer than today (February 18, 2017) when it was 50 degrees. Today, it looks like we won’t have too much trouble starting the new season about a month from now, but don’t bet on it. The ice you see in the Duluth harbor, below, will likely be blown around a lot in the next month. A wind from the west can take some of it under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge and out into Lake Superior. The next day, an East wind could bring it back in. I will post some more pictures as it moves around. It appears to fill the Superior channel, top right, now.
Ice cover in the Duluth Minnesota harbor


Algocen, J. W. Shelley together


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Someone asked about the Algocen/J. W. Shelley today so I decided to update her ship page and design a collage with a little of her history. Click above for a larger version.




Tug Cleveland being built in Cleveland

nprmarketplacegreatlakestoving-tugclevelandJoeStarckpresgltmarketplace.The February 10th, 2017 edition of NRP’s Marketplace (click above to listen) carried a nice story about the Great Lakes Towing Company building a new tug, the Cleveland (model at left), during the Great Lakes winter break. Below, workers are building the new tug in Great Lakes Towing’s own shipyard in Cleveland. At the right, GLT’s president Joe Starck talking to the Marketplace reporter about their new tug. Pictures from Markeplace web page.
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Winter layup in Duluth

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That’s the Roger Blough at the left, the American Century foreground and the American Spirit behind her and to the right. See full layup list here.


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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Algolake drops salt twice

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After discharging salt at the Hallett #8 dock in Superior, the Algolake dropped the second  part of her inbound cargo at North American Salt Dock in Duluth (below). After backing away from the salt dock around noon on Sunday, January 8, 2017, she made a 180 turn just in front of Pier B Resort (see more below) and departed under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge.
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On her way out, she provided a pretty good show to those folks watching out their window at the Pier B Resort.
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Below, that’s the retired Coast Guard cutter Sundew providing the entertainment for those folks on the front side of the resort.
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New tug for port arrives

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Built in 1974 by the Marinette Marine Corporation of Marinette, Wisconsin for the United States Navy, this 107 foot long tug was purchased from the Navy in 2002 by McAllister Towing and Transportation of New York, and named Daniel McAllister. In 2015, she was purchased by Great Lakes Towing and renamed Huron. She arrived Duluth to join the Great Lakes Towing Twin Ports fleet on January 2, 2017.
More pictures and information here

Old year and Happy New year

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I am not a big fan of the ‘Christmas tree’ you see in the middle of the picture above rising up in front of the Frontenac as she came into port on Saturday morning, December 31, 2016. The lights are out at Bentleyville for another year, and soon, I hope, the tree will be gone. By then most of the vessel traffic will be over, but I will patiently wait for the new season, when the leaves will return to the trees, the branches of which are now visible framing my picture. But I am not complaining.  Below, is an unobstructed view of the Frontenac but by then, the sun was not a big help to my picture, but I am not complaining. Most should be so lucky to have Christmas trees, leaves and the sun to worry about.
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The Frontenac was here to load iron ore pellets at the CN in West Duluth. She departed, this morning at 5:00 (above). Below, the Whitefish Bay departed the port this morning, January 1, 2017, after discharging a cargo of salt at the Hallett #8 dock in Superior. I think she left here on her way to load iron ore pellets at the BN.
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With the Western end of Lake Superior available for parking this afternoon, the Paul R. Tregurtha sat just behind the American Integrity above, at the right, and below, a little closer. They were I think both waiting to load iron ore pellets at Two Harbors. But it is dark outside and AIS is still recovering  from New Years Eve, as I guess are all my usual sources. So I will go home and watch the last football game of the regular season.2017-0101-0603

CSL Laurentian departs after 8th trip this year

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The CSL Laurentien arrived here on December 28, 2016, coming through the Superior entry to load iron ore pellets at the BNSF dock. After that she went over to Calumet for fuel and departed (above) Thursday morning, December 29, 2016 at 11:30. This was her 8th trip to the Twin Ports this season. She loaded at BNSF on 5 of those trips. She also loaded coal at Midwest Energy twice and took iron ore pellets from the CN dock once.
She is most of the former Louis R Desmarais. In the winter of 2000-01, she had a brand new hull attached to the engine room of the Desmarais and received a new, state-of-the-art self-unloading system, and a new name. CSL stands for her owner’s name, Canada Steamship Lines of Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

American Integrity replaced by the Herbert C. Jackson.

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Above, the American Integrity departed Duluth today (December 22, 2016) at 1:30 in the afternoon with 68,000 tons of coal loaded at Midwest Energy Resources. She will deliver a split load to Detroit Edison power plants at Monroe and St. Clair. This was her 31st trip to the Twin Ports this season; she made 30 trips last year.
The Herbert C. Jackson came in this morning at 10:56 and is seen below getting fuel at Calumet before taking the American Integrity’s place at Midwest Energy. She will load 16,000 tons of coal to take to Trenton, Michigan for the Trenton Channel Power Plant operated by Detroit Edison. The Jackson had her steam engine replaced with a new, energy-efficient diesel engine at Fraser Shipyards in Superior over the winter and departed the shipyard on September of this year. This is only her 4th trip here this season.
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Salt: in by boat, out by truck

The Algoway has only been here six times since 2003. She came under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge on Saturday afternoon, December 17, 2016 and deposited the large pile of salt you see in the picture just below. Since then, the pile has become a gathering spot for a lot of trucks,  a Black Friday for salt trucks. I took this picture early this morning (Tuesday morning, December 20, 2016). Below that is a picture I took of the Algowood depositing a similar pile at the Duluth Salt Dock, now known as Compass Minerals, on November 18, 2015.
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The Duluth plant distributes salt for a variety of uses, including consumer deicing and water conditioning,  bulk deicing for highways and mineral blocks for livestock.
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Alder breaks ice & sweeps & shovels it too

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All hands on deck aboard the Alder on December 14, 2016, breaking ice on their deck as they moved across Lake Superior. All of this while US Coast Guard Sector Soo began Operation Taconite, their annual push to clear shipping channels of ice so lakers can get another 2 or 3 weeks before the season ends. For now, the Alder was assigned the western end of Lake Superior for their ice breaking operations. That seems logical but in others years, they were breaking ice in Lake Michigan and cutters like the Biscayne Bay came here to break up our ice. All pictures here courtesy of the Alder.
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Alder approaches the Portage Lake Lift Bridge in Houghton, Mich., Dec. 16, 2016.
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Alder breaks a path through the ice in the Keweenaw Waterway near Houghton, Michigan on Dec. 16, 2016.

7 degrees, new ship, lots of people

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Just built this year, the Federal Columbia was greeted by lots of cold-loving Duluthians this afternoon (December 10, 2016) as she arrived to load wheat at CHS in Superior. It will be only the second cargo she has carried.
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She was Emilie, now she is Sunda

When I first heard that the Sunda was coming to Duluth, I was happy to see another ship making her first trip to Duluth. On further review, that call on the field was over ruled; the ship made one other trip here, on May 17, 2011 when she arrived as the Emilie to load grain at CHS. At the top, you see her new name on the side of her hull. To the right, you can see where that name was painted over her former name, which you can see, prior to her sale, below. We welcome all ships to Duluth, new ships and old ships, new names and old names.

3rd trip with clay for Yulia

The Yulia came under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge on December 1, 2016 with a cargo of Kaolin clay. She was built as the Harlequin in 2011 but later that year, she became the Yulia. The clay is not only another cargo brought to Duluth; it has become a new local industry at Lake Superior Warehousing, at the Port Authority. Below is some information from the Port Authority’s Summer, 2013 issue of their quarterly, North Star Port.

Kaolin is a hydrated aluminum silicate crystalline mineral used as a bulking agent or filler in a variety of industries including ceramics, paper, paint, plastics, rubber, sealant, adhesive and chemicals manufacturing. This particular clay adds gloss/shininess in papermaking and is being mined, refined and shipped by IMERYS.
The world’s largest producer of quality kaolin, IMERYS has deposits and production plants in the UK, U.S., Australia and Brazil. The product arrives in bulk as a powder, which is conveyed indoors to a building at the Port Terminal for further processing into a slurry for final delivery by tanker truck to customers in the region.

Labrador, first trip here, loading wheat

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This is a test row that i just added
After discharging cargo in Hamilton, Ontario, the Labrador came to Duluth, arriving off the Duluth piers on November 28, 2016. The next day, she came in under the Lift Bridge (above) and is now loading wheat at Riverland Ag. She arrived in the St. Lawrence Seaway around November 17. She made a previous trip to the seaway in late August this year, first discharging cargo in Hamilton and then loading grain in Thunder Bay.
This ship is currently working for Canfornav, a member of the Canadian Forest Navigation Group in Montreal, and is one of many of their ships that comelabradorduck to Duluth. Many are named for ducks, such as Bluewing, Greenwing and Mandarin, to name a few. I assume their Labrador vessel is named for the duck of the same name. Unfortunately, the duck is believed to be extinct, at least since the late 1800’s. There are however some theories that it never existed, or that it is not really extinct, just rarely seen. If it did exist, it is believed to have spent the summer in breeding grounds off Labrador. So I guess, the ship could be named for either the duck or the province in Canada where the duck spent its summers, if it did exist.
The Labrador was assisted by two Great Lakes Towing tugs. The Arkansas (above) on her bow and the Kentucky (below) on her bow.

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Christmas note cards for sale

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Power to Minnesota from Germany

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The BBC Mont Blanc arrived in Duluth very early on November 18, 2016. She brought with her 4  power generation units built by Caterpillar in Germany that are being discharged at the Port Terminal (above).

Philip R. Clarke departs after 19th trip here

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The Philip R. Clarke departed Duluth late morning on Saturday, November 19, 2016. While here, she discharged limestone at the Hallett #5 dock and then went next door to load  iron ore pellets at the CN dock. She loaded fuel on her arrival. This was her 19th trip here this season; she made 17 visits last year. During the year, she loads limestone at, among other ports, Calcite and Stoneport, both in Michigan and discharges it at Detroit, Duluth, Gary  and Toledo. She loads iron ore pellets at both the CN docks in Duluth and Two Harbors, delivering that cargo to Gary. She was built by the American Ship Building Company in 1952 at Lorain, one of three built for the Pittsburgh Steamship Company. The others were the Arthur M. Anderson and the Cason J. Callaway, both of which visit Duluth often during the year.

Cornelia in, to replace the departing Federal Maas

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The Cornelia came in from her anchorage (above) this afternoon (November 10, 2016). After a short wait at the Port Terminal, she will move over to Riverland Ag this evening to replace the Federal Maas, that left the dock about an hour later going off to deliver her cargo.
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Federal Maas here for grain

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Built in 1997, the Federal Maas first came here on December 1, 1998. She arrived on   November 7, 2016 (above) to load grain at Riverland Ag in Duluth (below). On July 24, 2012, she brought mining machinery she loaded in France for Saskatchewan to discharge at the Port Terminal. She was back in September, 2014 with more machinery. Today is her 11th trip to the Twin Ports. That is the faithful Cornelia seen at anchor between the Maas and the South light base.
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World Wide Web is world wide

Sometimes, the World Wide Web is really world wide. The Roerborg arrived in Duluth early Monday afternoon (October 31, 2016). Third mate Daniel Schaafsma was just outside the pilot house waving to people welcoming him and his ship to Duluth. Later, he told me he was surprised to see so many people watching them come in. I took a picture of the ship’s arrival but failed to notice the very small figure waving to us from the top of the ship. His grandparents in The Netherlands were watching the Marine Museum web cam and they knew right away who that small speck at the top of the ship was.
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They added a comment on the page, in Dutch

Ha, die Daan.
We. opa, Guus en oma hebben zien varen en naar he gezwaaid.
Wat een grote boot is de Roerborg zeg. Leuk dat we je daar zagen staan on de vleugel.
We wenen je een goede vaart en een behouden thuiskomst.
Dag lieverd, we houden van je.
Guus, Op en Oma Gerritsen van der Hoop Harlingen. Nederland.

Which Google translated as:

Ha, which Daan.
We. grandpa, grandma Guus and have seen sail and swung huh. What a great boat say the Ruhr Borg. Nice that we saw you standing there on the wing. We weep you a good trip and a safe return Day, sweetheart, we love you. Guus On and Grandma Gerritsen van der Hoop Harlingen. Netherlands.

Google does some things better than others, but his Mother, Jenny, then added a comment in English thanking us for the connection. Such a nice comment deserved a nice response so I went over to the ship to talk to Daniel. He did not know about the comments yet; I shared them with him and then took his picture so I could share that with his parents and grandparents, and of  course readers of the Duluth Shipping News. Daniel, who lives in the town of Dronryp, is two years out of Maritime Academy. Last year, he was an apprentice and visited Duluth aboard the Erieborg. This year, he comes here as the third mate on the Roerborg.

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Below, the Roerborg was waiting at the Port Terminal this morning before moving over to CHS to load grain.
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American Mariner departs while Cornelia waits, again!

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Before departing this morning (above, on October 30, 2016), the American Mariner arrived Duluth on Friday evening, October 28, 2016 to load wheat at the General Mills elevator in Superior.
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The Cornelia is at anchor off the Duluth piers waiting to come in to load grain. She arrived in the Twin Ports on October 16 with a cargo of cement she discharged at CRH, previously Holcim and before that St. Lawrence Cement. After discharging her cement cargo, she went out to the anchorage to wait before coming in for her grain cargo.
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The Mariner will carry her wheat cargo to Buffalo and discharge it at General Mills grain elevators there. This was her 11th trip here this season. On other trips, she has brought limestone and loaded coal or iron ore pellets. The Cornelia is here for her second time and her second time spending more than a few days at anchor. Last year, she had some legal difficulties that kept her out there for over 40 days. Since then, she was sold and is now free of any legal entanglements; just waiting and enjoying the weather.
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Skawa arrives Duluth

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The Skawa entered the Duluth ship canal late this afternoon, October 25, 2016, on her way to CHS 2 to load flax and wheat. Built in 2012, she is making her first trip to the Twin Ports. She is one of many we see here from Polish Steamship Company. The Skawa is a river in Southern Poland