CSL Niagara passes South Pier Light

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The Canadian flagged CSL Niagara, seen above entering the Duluth ship canal on January 9th, 2005, is expected to arrive late this evening, perhaps just before midnight. Last year, when the boat was here in late December, it was elaborately decorated for Christmas. It may light up the harbor just in time for the New Year! Even if there are no Christmas lights on the boat, it is bright red. This is the 5th trip the boat has made to the Twin Ports this season. That’s about average over the last 5 years.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-31-2007

St. Clair heading to Murphy

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At 11:30 on Saturday morning, the St. Clair came into port using the Duluth entry to get fuel before loading taconite at the Burlington Northern dock in Superior. To avoid the ice filled Superior channel, it went back out to the lake using the Duluth entry after fueling at the Murphy Fuel dock and followed Park Point down to the Superior entry. It was a much easier trip, with very little ice and the BN dock is right inside the Superior entry. Photo taken on December 29,2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-30-2007

American Century ice is nice

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It almost looks like the port of Duluth Superior is holding a year end sale on coal and taconite. The sale goes all the way up to Two Harbors, at least for the taconite. Buyers of those two products know they will not be able to get more from here between the middle of January and the middle of March. The other end of the Seaway (Duluth is the western most tip of the St. Lawrence Seaway System) is closing up for the winter. Yesterday, the Saint-Lambert Lock at Montreal, the entrance to the St. Lawrence Seaway, closed after the Birchglen moved through it on the way to Baltimore. Back here, the American Century arrived in port last night for coal and should be departing sometime this morning. Above, it is seen departing Duluth on December 7th, loaded down with ice. Today, with warmer weather and quieter winds, it does not carry so much ice along for the ride. Photo taken on December 07,2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-29-2007

Algosteel arriving Duluth ship canal

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The Algosteel is expected today for the 4th visit the boat has made to the Twin Ports this season, more than it has made at least since 1996. Above, it is arriving in Duluth in March, 2006, the only trip it made to the Twin Ports last season. It usually loads coal when it is up here, as it is today. On one of the trips this year, however, it brought in a cargo of salt and then left with taconite. Other boats are here today for both taconite and coal, but Two Harbors is the place to see boat traffic. They are expecting to load 4 boats with taconite today, although that should roll over into Saturday.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-28-2007

Waves no match for Paul R. Tregurtha

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The Paul R. Tregurtha came into port a little after 3 pm on Wednesday. There was no ice in the ship channel but a 11 mph wind with gusts up to 19 mph created some surf and blowing snow as the boat when under the Lift Bridge (above). The Tregurtha was in a line to load coal at Midwest Energy. It was set to follow the Mesabi Miner which was set to follow the Herbert C. Jackson. It got its place by waiting out Christmas Day at anchor off the Duluth piers. Photo taken on December 26,2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-27-2007

Canadian Enterprise Christmas

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Christmas Day was a time of waiting for shipping traffic in the Twin Ports. But that is not all bad. In fact, it is pretty good since Christmas Day on a laker means a very nice dinner. That is the Canadian Enterprise above, just to the right of the North Pier light, barely visible in the Christmas morning mist. The overcast did not stop the crew on the boat from enjoying a dinner of turkey and prime rib. Further out in the lake, on the Algolake, prime rib with Yorkshire pudding and chicken Cordon Bleu were the main attraction. Abundant appetizers and desserts surrounded the plate on both boats. At 11 last night, the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. was set to start loading coal at Midwest Energy, there is a waiting line after that. Photo taken on December 25, 2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-26-2007

Kaye E. Barker and bothersome ice

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It has been a slow couple days for shipping activity in the Twin Ports. Most everything stopped when high winds and ice created less than ideal conditions in the harbor. Often the hardest part of the job coming in to load cargo in conditions like that is getting close enough to the dock. As a boat moves close to the dock, any ice between the boat and the dock can get stuck between the two leaving the boat too far away. Above, the Kaye E. Barker got only this close to the Murphy Oil Dock on December 20th. In this case, that was sufficient. High winds can make that job even harder. And, the coal dock in Superior has the Christmas holiday off, their only day of rest since the season opened in March. Wind, ice and Christmas provide two boats to watch at anchor and one waiting inside. They return to work at 11 pm tonight. Photo taken on December 20,2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-25-2007

Atlantic Huron arrives Duluth harbor

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There was not much movement in the harbor yesterday. The Walter J. McCarthy Jr. approached the Duluth piers and decided to drop anchor in the outer anchorage and wait for the storm, particularly the wind from the North, to pass. At 8:10 Sunday morning, the Mesabi Miner went out in the Lake after loading coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior, also the destination of the McCarthy. The Miner decided to drop anchor also. Both were there on Sunday evening. Presumably, the McCarthy came in last night and has been loading coal. It is about a 9 hour process. Two more boats will be here today to load coal; the Canadian flagged Algolake and Canadian Enterprise. The Atlantic Huron is expected here today to load taconite. Above, it is arriving on January 1st, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-24-2007

Algowood makes her way through harbor

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While people in cars in the Twin Ports were slipping and sliding in the ice-drizzle-snow on Saturday morning, the Algowood slipped under the Lift Bridge and is seen above moving easily down the Duluth harbor to take a position behind the American Integrity at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior. The boat was more challenged by the ice in the St. Louis River. The Algowood departed the Twin Ports early Saturday evening with coal for Ontario Power Generation and was replaced by the Mesabi Miner at Midwest. The Miner was expected to depart sometime this morning. Photo taken on December 22, 2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-23-2007

New meaning to “go fly a kite”

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Ships from Beluga Shipping in Hamburg, Germany made 11 trips to the Twin Ports in 2007. During most of those trips they carried wind turbine components so that people in Spain, and North Dakota, among other places, might have cleaner and perhaps cheaper electricity. They depended upon good old fashioned diesel power to move around the world. Last Saturday, their world might have changed. Beluga Shipping launched the Beluga SkySails. It still runs on diesel fuel, but as you can see in the graphic above, the ship has a kite flying high above and in front of it, harnessing the wind to pull the Beluga ship along and providing an estimated 10 to 20% reduction in fuel cost. This ship will make a trial run from Germany to Venezuela next year, but it will probably be some time before we see it coming under the Lift Bridge. You can see video by searching Youtube for skysails.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-22-2007

Kaye E. gets visit from Captain’s family

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Captain Greg Sipper brought the Kaye E. Barker under the Lift Bridge on Thursday afternoon at 3:30. One hour later, his wife Emily and son Joel joined him in the pilot house on the boat (above) while the boat was refueled at the Murphy Oil Fuel Dock. Along with daughter Katie who joined them later, the Sipper family resides in Hermantown. Greg was born in Duluth and graduated from Denfield High in 1977. With any luck, the family got him back to Hermantown for at least a couple hours last night before he would have to return to the boat. That probably happened late last night when Captain Sipper was scheduled to take the Barker back under the bridge, this time with a cargo of coal loaded at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior while he was home in Hermantown for a quick visit. He is taking the cargo to Marquette. Photo taken on December 20,2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-21-2007

Kaye E. Barker likes Duluth winters

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The Kaye E. Barker doesn’t get here very much although it spent the winter here last year. For some reason, as you can notice from the picture above, taken on January 23rd, 2004, this boat seems to favor Duluth in the winter months. Of 6 trips here in 2006, 4 of them were in November and December and of 6 trips in 2005, 4 were in December, January and March. The Kaye E. Barker started life as the Edward B. Greene, sailing for Cleveland Cliffs. It was also operated by Ford as the Benson Ford. In 1989, Ford got out of the shipping business and it was sold to the current owner, Interlake Steamship Company. The boat is named after the wife of James R. Barker, Interlake Chairman of the Board. He also has a boat named after him that visits the Twin Ports regularly. It will be here Saturday.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-20-2007

Paul R. Tregurtha brings in some ice

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Two thousand footers will go under the Lift Bridge today. The Paul R. Tregurtha will depart this morning and the American Century should arrive this afternoon. This will be the 53rd trip here for the Tregurtha this season. That is a high total, mostly because the boat made many shorter trips to Taconite Harbor and a couple to Marquette, Michigan. It is seen above coming into the Duluth ship canal this past December 7th. This will be the 37th trip to the Twin Ports for the American Century this season. The first of the 13 thousand footers to be built, the Stewart J. Cort, will be in Superior, and another thousand footer, the Edwin H. Gott, will be in Two Harbors. Photo taken on December 07, 2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-19-2007

Sam Laud one of the “river boats”

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Three boats that can often be found on the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland are up on Lake Superior this week. They are smaller boats, 634 feet long, that move a lot of taconite up the river to Mittal Steel that some of the larger boats bring down to the mouth of the river at Cleveland. Once in a while, the river boats get a chance to visit us on Lake Superior. The Sam Laud, seen above while here in November, was expected in last night to load taconite at the Burlington Northern in Superior. The American Republic will be in Silver Bay today, the Buffalo was there on Monday. At least two of them will take their taconite to Cleveland. Photo taken on November 08,2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-18-2007

Alder back home

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The last salt water ship left the port on Friday. On Sunday, the locally based Alder arrived back in Duluth (above) after doing buoy work on Lake Michigan, a duty they share with several other Coast Guard boats. They are home for the winter. After a couple days rest, the Alder will go out in the harbor to maintain tracks through the ice. They will respond to other situations as needed. They brought in relatively warm weather and will not likely be out in the Harbor until Friday. The Coast Guard cutter Biscayne Bay arrived a couple weeks ago, but brought very cold weather and lots of ice with it. Photo taken on December 16, 2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-17-2007

Isadora strategy session

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The Isadora went under the Lift Bridge on Friday night at 8:39. An hour earlier, there was a meeting in Isadora captain Zdzislaw Iwanowski’s office on the ship (above) to complete all the paper work involved with loading the ship’s cargo holds with wheat and sending it off to, in this case, Barcelona. From the left, Chuck Hilleren from Guthrie-Hubner, the ship’s agent, Chuck Ilenda, from Ceres, the stevedore for the job, and Captain Sencer Under from the National Cargo Bureau joined the Captain to tie up the salt water shipping in the port for the year. Photo taken on December 14, 2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-16-2007

Icy harbor

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The Isadora was loading wheat for Barcelona on Friday morning when the Philip R. Clarke was coming up the harbor with a load of limestone for the Hallett Dock in West Duluth. It was slow going through the ice and the tug Anna Marie Altman was standing by to provide assistance if needed. The picture was taken from the stern of the Isadora. The Polish owned and crewed Isadora was the 158th and last salt water ship of the year to visit the port. It departed last night. Photo taken on December 15,2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-15-2007

Isadora departing Twin Ports

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The Isadora came into port on Thursday evening to load grain at AGP in Duluth. It is the 158th salt water vessel to come to the Twin Ports this shipping season. This is the ship’s 12th trip to the Twin Ports since it was built in 1999. It first came here in November 2000. It made 4 trips in 2000 and then visited only once in each year since although this is the second visit this season. The Isadora should be departing later today depending upon weather. Above, it is departing Duluth in June, 2003.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-14-2007

Biscayne Bay cuts a path

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The Biscayne Bay‘s extended stay in Duluth was cut short when they were asked to go to Thunder Bay to break up their ice. The 140 foot Coast Guard cutter departed the port on Wednesday afternoon. Before departing, it refreshed the tracks made through the ice in the main shipping channels in the port. The tracks they opened up Wednesday meet under the Blatnik Bridge. One goes up the St. Louis River past Midwest Energy Resources and the CN dock. One goes down the Superior channel to the BN dock. And one moves up the inner harbor to the Lift Bridge. In the picture above, the ship is going down the Superior channel toward the Superior entry. You are looking back through a window on the bridge of the ship at the track the ship has just opened. The tracks often freeze over if there has not been a ship going through it for some time and/or it is very cold. The tracks through the ice in the main shipping channels can easily be seen from Skyline Drive. Photo taken on December 12, 2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-13-2007

H. Lee White rides into the sunset

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The H. Lee White came into port late Monday afternoon (above) with a cargo of limestone loaded at Calcite, Michigan. After discharging the stone, it will go to Silver Bay to load taconite for Mittal Steel in Indiana Harbor. When it arrived on March 26th this year, it was the first boat in the new season to arrive in the Twin Ports from beyond the Soo Locks. Ice and the problems it creates for ships on the Great Lakes does not follow a schedule. The Coast Guard cutter Biscayne Bay has been called to Thunder Bay and should be departing here after a short ice breaking session in the harbor this morning. Photo taken on December 11,2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-12-2007

McCarthy taking ice and coal out

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Ice is becoming an important factor in the port. Seasoned observers point out that in the last several days, impressive amounts of ice have formed even overnight. Yesterday, the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. was unable to pull away from the dock at Midwest Energy Resources after loading 62,000 tons of coal. A call to the Great Lakes tug office brought some assistance. Above, they are in the harbor, turning toward the bridge after getting free of the ice. The Coast Guard cutter Biscayne Bay has been here since Friday. It is now tied up behind the DECC. Generally speaking, ice breaking help requested by ships is first provided by local entities, usually tugs. The Biscayne Bay would only get involved if the ice was too thick for the tugs to handle or if asked by a party to help out. The cutter will also be out opening tracks in the main shipping channels in the harbor. Photo taken on December 10, 2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-11-2007

Biscayne Bay crew does the icebreaking

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LT Cary Godwin brought his Coast Guard ice breaker Biscayne Bay into port on Friday evening. About 10 tons of ice, encrusted on just about every exterior surface of the ship, came along for the ride. Most of the ice accumulated on the trip here from Isle Royale where they ran into 8 to 10 foot seas. The design of the ship, allowing them to move under an ice flow and break it up from below also makes it easier to collect spray which in 10 below weather quickly becomes ice. The crew of 17 spent most of Saturday chipping away at the ice with rubber mallets. In the picture above, you see, from top down, SN Jason Manard from Bedford, Michigan, SN Matthew Jobson from Alexandria Bay, New York, BM3 Michael Desormeaux from Augusta, Georgia and SN Timothy Fonger from Grand Rapids, Michigan shoveling the ice off the deck after they had deftly applied their mallets to the target. Presuming most of the ice is off the ship, they will be out in the harbor today to check on ice conditions. They will likely be here at least a week, making sure the shipping channels are open for our boat traffic throughout the harbor. Yesterday and today they were at the dock normally taken up by ‘our’ cutter Alder. The Alder is tending to buoys in the St. Mary’s River and on Lake Michigan while the Biscayne Bay attends to our ice. Photo taken on December 08, 2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-09-2007

Federal Kushiro and sea smoke

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The Federal Kushiro came into port on Friday morning, just before sunrise (above) and is now loading wheat for Northern Europe at the CHS terminal in Superior. The brand new Rosaire A. Desgagnés was expected just before sunrise this morning. The Coast Guard ice breaker Biscayne Bay did arrive in Duluth last night after several days of windy weather on Lake Superior. Today will likely be a recovery day before checking out the harbor ice situation on Sunday. The Daviken spent the night at anchor off the Duluth piers and will come in to load wheat at the Peavey elevator sometime after 10 am this morning. Photo taken on December 07, 2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-08-2007

Paul R. makes turn to Aerial Lift Bridge

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Three salt water vessels are expected in port during the first part of the day. Each will start loading grain when they arrive since they are going to 3 different grain terminals. Later in the afternoon, two thousand-footers will be arriving to load coal, although since they are both loading coal at Midwest Energy Resources, one will have to wait about 9 hours to get to the dock. The Coast Guard cutter Biscayne Bay is still trying to get to Duluth and is still fighting the weather. On Thursday, prevailing winds directed them to Isle Royale where they anchored for the night. With good weather, they hope to arrive in Duluth late today, hugging the North Shore of Lake Superior to avoid higher winds in the middle of the lake. Finally, the Rosaire A. Desgagnés, a new ship built this year by Beluga Shipping, a German company, will be here. It left the shipyard as the Beluga Fortification in June with a Panamanian flag. In August it became the Rosaire A. Desgagnés, flying a flag from Antigua and Barbuda for a month before raising a Canadian flag to its mast. Above, the Paul R. Tregurtha, expected here to load coal, is departing Duluth last September. Photo taken on September 06, 2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-07-2007

Biscayne Bay is Coast Guard ice breaker

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The US Coast Guard ice breaker Biscayne Bay is on the way to the Twin Ports. After making a stop at Marquette, it dropped anchor off the Keweenaw last night, hoping to depart this morning for Duluth, depending upon the weather. Above, it is seen arriving in Duluth March 14th of this year. Nothing is for sure when trying to predict the arrivals and departure of shipping traffic. The Federal Asahi finally departed last night, allowing the Beluga Energy to move into the AGP terminal to load grain. The predicted arrival of the Edward L. Ryerson will not happen for some time. It has found more work that should keep it going until January. It is still scheduled to spend the winter at Fraser Shipyards in Superior. Photo taken on March 14, 2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-06-2007

St. Clair arriving Twin Ports harbor

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On Sunday, only 3 boats went under the Lift Bridge, Monday saw another 3 and Tuesday only 1. It is too early to say that the season is winding down but it is definitely slowed up by a combination of high winds, cold temperatures and ice. The Coast Guard announced the beginning of Operation Taconite yesterday, a somewhat early effort to keep shipping channels open on the St. Mary’s River below the Soo Locks and in Duluth. Our Coast Guard cutter Alder is in the St. Mary’s River, below the Soo Locks, removing aids to navigation buoys, a little earlier than usual. Some of the buoys have been damaged by the ice in the river, although no serious damage is reported, meaning they will be put back in the water in the Spring. The cutter Biscayne Bay has been dispatched to Duluth although they will stop in Marquette first, probably sometime later today, arriving here at the end of the week. They were here last winter several times. Even though the Alder is ‘our’ coast guard cutter, it is primarily a buoy tender and the buoys in the St. Mary’s River needed tending. The Biscayne Bay is an ice breaker, coming here to break ice. The only question left is where the ice problems in Duluth are located. They should have sent a snow plow instead. The St. Clair, seen above making the turn into the Duluth harbor in October, should be here now for coal and will likely leave later in the morning. Photo taken on October 25, 2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-05-2007

BBC Ontario loading wind turbine blades

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Above, the 4th of 10 wind turbine blades is lowered onto a lower deck of the BBC Ontario Monday morning at the Port Terminal. Over the weekend, beet pulp pellets were loaded into the cargo holds below this deck at General Mills. After ten blades were placed here, hatch covers were lowered over it to form the weather or top deck. Twenty one blades were put on the top deck before it departed last night for Spain. Both cargos were loaded in North Dakota and both cargos will be delivered to Spain. The Edward L. Ryerson was delayed in the Detroit area but is now expected to arrive in Duluth sometime later today for winter layup, the first layup arrival of the year. Photo taken on December 03, 2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-04-2007

Ryerson enters Duluth ship canal

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Ships coming to the Twin Ports have been loading beet pulp pellets for Spain for many years. Arriving here by train from North Dakota, the pellets are used in Europe for animal feed, This year, several ships have loaded wind turbine blades in Duluth and taken them to Spain. Until today, no ship has loaded both cargos for Spain. Over the weekend, the BBC Ontario loaded beet pulp pellets in the lower cargo areas of the ship. Last night, the ship moved from the General Mills dock in Duluth to the Port Terminal where wind turbine blades for Spain will be loaded above the beet pulp pellets. Many people think the Edward L. Ryerson is one of the prettiest boats on the Great Lakes. This winter, and probably for the first time ever, the boat will spend the winter in the Twin Ports, specifically at Fraser Shipyards in Superior. It is expected to arrive sometime today. Photo taken on November 11, 2006
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-03-2007

Canadian Transport enters the harbor

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After spending a day or more waiting out the wind at Thunder Bay, the Canadian Transport decided to come over to Duluth in time for the snow storm. It arrived here on Saturday afternoon (above), coming under the Lift Bridge just as the Mesabi Miner was getting ready to depart the coal dock at Midwest Energy Resources, and the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. was moving in. The Canadian Transport asked for a wake up call from the McCarthy about an hour before the McCarthy finishes loading coal. That should be about the time the sun rises, not that they will see it. Coal is loaded in any weather; grain is not. Liquid is not good for grain. Grain loading is always stopped when it rains, and usually when it snows. The Captain of the ship makes that decision since he is the one who will be delivering the cargo to the customer. Both the Federal Asahi and the Federal Hunter will be held over until Monday. With better weather, they might have departed today. Photo taken on December 01,  2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-02-2007

American Spirit making the harbor turn

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The thousand foot long American Spirit was expected to arrive very early this morning to load iron ore pellets at the CN dock in West Duluth. Above, it is moving slowly through the Duluth harbor last October. The Paul R. Tregurtha came into port last night to load 62,000 tons of coal at Midwest Energy Resources. The Tregurtha, at 1,013.5 feet long, is the longest of the 13 thousand foot boats on the Great Lakes today. Along with the two thousand footers mentioned above, three more will be arriving today to load coal at the Midwest dock today, and the 730 foot Canadian Transport, held back by high winds for several days, should be here trying to fit into the waiting line. Two Fednav ships, the Federal Hunter and the Federal Asahi both arrived last night to load wheat.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-01-2007

Federal Asahi

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Seven boats should be arriving in the port today. Three of them will likely finish their work here and depart later in the day. The Hong Kong flagged Federal Asahi will be here today to load grain. It was here in April, 2000 at the end of its maiden voyage, sailing here from Japan where the vessel was built. It returned one more time that year, and was back once in 2002 and again in 2004. This will be the 5th visit the ship has made to the Twin Ports. Photo taken April 12, 2000
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-30-2007

Canadian Transport arriving Duluth canal

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The Ypermachos finally departed the Twin Ports with grain last night. The Beluga Energy was due in Tuesday night but high winds on Lake Superior forced the ship to take cover near the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan, on the south shore of Lake Superior. It was expected in last night and should be discharging wind turbine parts from Spain at first light this morning at the Port Terminal. Only two other boats will be moving in the port today; the John J. Boland is loading coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior and departing this afternoon and the Canadian Transport is coming in to do the same thing. Above the Canadian Transport is seen arriving in Duluth on August 11, 2002. On Friday, 10 boats are expected to arrive in the Twin Ports.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-29-2007

Cort makes rare Duluth entrance

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The Stewart J. Cort, the first thousand footer on the Great Lakes, came in the Duluth entry on Tuesday. The boat has made 527 visits to the Twin Ports and only 16 of the visits found it coming in the Duluth entry. The crew seemed happy to be here; they gave several whistles including one that seemed like a tune. We get duck boats such as the Greenwing and the Bluewing and today another whale boat, the Beluga Energy. It is the 6th Beluga ship this season. The Beluga Expectation has been here 3 times, the Beluga Constitution and Elegance 2 times and the Beluga Efficiency and Beluga Formation each one trip. In future years, we may even see these members of the F-Series: the Beluga- Fascination, Flirtation, Fiction and Fantastic. Still others could be the Beluga- Indication, Satisfaction, Advertising, Impression, Locomotion and Legislation. I prefer not to take the Beluga Locomotion out into the Atlantic, or any other ocean. There are many more, but for now, only two more, the Beluga Fairy and Beluga Passion. Photo taken on November 27, 2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-28-2007

Federal Oshima looks nice with South Pier Light

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The Federal Oshima came into port last Friday (above) and is expected to depart today taking wheat to Naples. The Ziemia Cieszynska may also depart, taking soy beans to Northern Europe. The Ypermachos is expected to finally come into port this morning from the outside anchorage, probably around 8 am. This is the former Socrates so if you are down by the ship canal when it comes in, look closely at the name plate on the side of the ship. The raised letters of Socrates are visible. Three thousand footers will be loading coal at Midwest Energy Resources, but there may be a line since only one can load at a time. Photo taken on November 24, 2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-27-2007

Mesabi Miner arriving Twin Ports for coal

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The Mesabi Miner arrived in Duluth early Sunday afternoon (above). It came to load about 62,000 tons of coal for a Detroit Edison power plant in St. Clair, Michigan. We expect three boats today to load grain. One of them, the Ypermachos, has been at anchor off the Duluth piers for several days. This is the former Socrates, the ship that spent a week aground off Park Point in 1985. If you are down at the ship canal when it comes in, look closely at the hull where the current name is printed. You can see the raised letters of the name Socrates still visible. All the names that followed were only painted on the hull. The Polish owned Ziemia Cieszynska will be returning to Duluth after an earlier trip here in October. On this trip, it will load soy beans for a port in Northern Europe. The Adam E. Cornelius will be here today for the 17th time this season. Today, like many of the earlier trips, it will load wheat for General Mills in Buffalo. Photo taken on November 25, 2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-26-2007

BBC Ems getting lots of fuel

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Above, the BBC Ems loaded 800 tons of heavy fuel oil at the Murphy Oil Fuel Dock at the Port Terminal on Saturday. That was the largest order Murphy Oil has ever filled at their Duluth dock. With 22 wind turbine blades on their top deck, the heavy fuel oil will give the ship better stability on the trip to Spain. Murphy started fueling at 12:45 Saturday afternoon and completed around 6:30 in the evening. All 800 tons were pushed through the dangling hose you can see in the picture. It took about 32 trips with their fuel trucks from their Superior terminal to Duluth to match the fuel going into the ship. The BBC Ems left last night. Two thousand footers are due this morning to load coal and the Canadian flagged and not so long Algolake will be here in the afternoon to do the same but will be third in line probably not getting to the dock until Monday. Photo taken on November 24, 2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-25-2007

BBC Ems loads wind turbine blades

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Ballast tanks, filled with water, provide stability to a ship. Fuel is a liquid that also provides stability. When the BBC Ems completes loading wind turbine blades later today, it will move over to the Murphy Oil Fuel Dock to take on about 800 tons of heavy oil fuel. That will take the Fuel Dock about 7 or 8 hours. This is the largest order that Murphy has filled since they opened their Duluth operation in 1998. The reason, other than the fact the ship needs fuel to operate, is the cargo they are taking from Duluth to Spain. Wind turbine blades by their very nature are built to catch wind, and the top deck will carry 24 of the 44 blades they will load. Wind turbine blades are made of fiberglass and are hollow; together, they weigh only 264 metric tons, no where close to the 60,000 tons that the big coal boats carry or even the 25,000 tons or more that salt water ships loading grain carry. In the picture, some of the first blades were lowered into the lowest deck of the ship on Friday. You can see the hatch cover at the right center of the picture is up so the blades can be lowered into the ship. When the lower holds are filled, the hatch covers will be closed, forming the top or weather deck of the ship where the last 24 blades will sit. Photo taken on November 23, 2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-24-2007

Algonorth departing Twin Ports

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The Algonorth will be here for the first time since it arrived here on December 18th, 2005. It has been here 18 times since 1996. In the picture above, it is leaving Duluth in June, 2004. It will be loading grain while here. Two ships owned by Wagenborg Shipping in the Netherlands will be here today. One, the Americaborg, is making its 2nd visit here; the first was just this past August when it loaded spring wheat for Spain. It will do the same thing today. The Dongeborg will be here for the first time despite the fact it is one of the older Wagenborg ships, built in 1999. It will be loading beet pulp pellets for Spain. Photo taken on June 27, 2004 [As of April, 2011, Algoma Central lists her as not in service]
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-23-2007

Clarke welcomed by large crowd

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Above, the Philip R. Clarke is arriving last July for the 6th trip of the season to the Twin Ports. It will be here today for the 12th time, about the number of trips it has made to the Twin Ports in the last several years. They are bringing limestone loaded in Cedarville, Michigan. When they complete discharging that cargo, they will load taconite at Two Harbors. On trips to Lake Superior, they usually load taconite for Gary, Indiana for the down bound trip. Most of the year, they are moving a variety of cargos between many lower lakes ports, such as Toledo, Gary, South Chicago, Green Bay, Detroit and Ashtabula. Variety is great. Every time I mention how great it is to visit a large variety of ports to someone on the boats, they do not share my enthusiasm. Making short trips to a lot of ports is a lot of work. Many sailors look forward to a trip to Duluth since they have all of Lake Superior without any cargo loading or discharging. Photo taken on July 20,2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-22-2007

Vechtborg enters Duluth ship canal

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The Dutch flagged Vechtborg will be here today for only the 4th time since it was built in 1998. Above, it is coming into port in 2005. It will load beet pulp pellets. Today, we will see one other Dutch flagged ship, 2 Canadian flagged and 3 US flagged boats. They will load taconite, coal and grain. No cargo will be discharged in the port today. In September, we loaded 975,736 tons of cargo to Canadian boats and discharged only 41,854 tons. We shipped out 2,886,096 tons of cargo on US flagged boats and discharged only 447,588 tons from US flagged boats. The salt water traffic was similar. We loaded 508,194 tons of cargo and only discharged 6,681 tons from foreign flagged vessels. Our imports are mostly limestone, cement, wind turbine blades and other general cargo. Photo taken on October 11, 2005
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-21-2007

Xenia in Twin Ports harbor

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The Xenia came into port on Sunday afternoon (above) after discharging general cargo in Hamilton. This is the 4th trip the Xenia has made to the Twin Ports, the 2nd this season. It was built in 2002 and is 468 feet long, shorter than most of the older salt water ships that come to Duluth, but part of a fleet of newer ships that are shorter and more flexible. Just the smaller size gives them access to more ports and rivers around the world, many ports that the larger ships are too big to enter. The Ypermachos will be at anchor off the Duluth piers for several days. It is better known around here as the Socrates, the ship that went aground off Park Point on November 18th, 1985. Photo taken on November 18, 2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-20-2007

Marlene Green is……………green

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The Marlene Green arrived in port on Sunday morning at 6:22. A few hours later, it was at the Port Terminal discharging the 40 wind turbine base units it brought here from Indonesia. The Alpena has been in port since it arrived with a cargo of cement on November 11. It has spent much of the time since getting repairs made. This morning, with that accomplished, it first fueled at the Murphy Fuel Dock at the Port Terminal and then left there to complete discharging the cement cargo. It either departed earlier today or soon will. Above, you can see the Alpena moving past the Marlene Green on Sunday morning. This is the first trip here since the Marlene Green was built in 2001. It is 468 feet long, flies a Dutch flag and is green. Photo taken on November 18, 2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-19-2007

Gantry cranes at work

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The Beluga Formation discharged wind turbine tower base units at the Port Terminal Saturday. Above, both cranes (the #2 is visible) have lifted the unit out of the ship’s hold and are moving it to a waiting truck. They were loaded in Spain and are going to the Tatanka wind farm in North Dakota. The Marlene Green was expected in port very early this morning with wind turbine tower sections (4 to each tower) loaded in Indonesia and going to Minnesota Power’s wind energy generation facility being built near U. S. Steel’s Minntac Mine in Mountain Iron. Lake Superior Warehousing Company at the Port Terminal will be discharging both ships today, starting at 7 am. Photo taken on November 17, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-18-2007

Beluga Formation brings towers

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The Beluga Formation returned to Duluth on Friday afternoon (above), bringing another load of wind turbine parts from Spain. She brought a similar cargo here on October 1st. This load has 124 pieces, some vary large, as the ones on the deck of the ship above indicate. They are base units, or the towers that hold the wind turbines high. Each base is made of 3 base units. There are no blades on this ship, but there are pieces for 13 wind turbines. Longshoremen and operating engineers (crane operators) and others will be at the Port Terminal at 7 this morning to begin discharging the cargo. Photo taken on November 16, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-17-2007

Montrealais entering Twin Ports harbor

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The Montrealais arrived late Thursday afternoon to load grain. Above, it is seen arriving in Duluth in August, 2004. After a short lull, ship traffic in the Twin Ports is picking up again. So far, this has been a very good year. To the end of October, there were a total of 965 vessel arrivals in the Twin Ports this season. That is 58 more than last year at the same time. That breaks down to 34 more Canadian vessel arrivals, 21 more foreign flagged and 3 more US flagged vessels this season. Of course, many vessels made multiple trips. There were 179 separate vessels that made the 965 trips this season, through October 31st.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-16-2007

Maritime Trader arriving Twin Ports

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The American Century should be back from a quick trip to Silver Bay to load coal for Detroit Edison power plants at St. Clair, Michigan. The Paul R. Tregurtha left last night around 6 pm to do the same thing. Both boats will be back next week, obviously in the same order, to load coal again for St. Clair, Michigan. The Walter J. McCarthy Jr. arrives later today to load coal, although not for Detroit Edison even though the boat is named after a former President of the company. The McCarthy will load coal for Ontario Power Generation at Nanticoke. Still, its usual destination is the Detroit Edison plant at St. Clair. That destination is not surprising since Detroit Edison owns Midwest Energy Resources in Superior where all the coal is loaded into these giant boats. The bright blue Maritime Trader, seen above coming into the port on June 18, 2006, will be here today for the 7th time this season.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-15-2007

American Century departing Twin Ports

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Yesterday was probably not the most productive day the port has had. High winds, repairs to docks and to boats slowed things down a bit. The Alpena was to have departed today but is undergoing repairs and may not depart until Thursday after discharging the usual cargo of cement. Repairs have been made at the Midwest Energy Resources coal dock and the lineup to load coal there is over. The American Century was due here last night and should be about finished loading coal as the sun comes up today. It will take the coal to Silver Bay this morning, leaving the coal dock open for the Paul R. Tregurtha to move right in, assuming it arrived earlier this morning. Above, the American Century is seen departing Duluth last July. Photo taken on July 20, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-14-2007

Hello, Duluth crane #1

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Next year marks 50 years for the St. Lawrence Seaway, a major event for Duluth, opening it up to larger ships from around the world. Next year is also the 50th birthday of the two cranes that stand at the Port Terminal. They are ready for the party. The Port Authority upgraded both cranes in 2005, adding new electrical and mechanical controls as well as new operator cabs. They were built by Clyde Iron Works and for many years, the name Clyde appeared on their side. In the early 80’s, they were repainted, with the words Port of Duluth added in very large letters. Over the years, the new name began to fade, standing as they do high over the harbor facing Lake Superior. The 2005 upgrade included a new paint job but no new name, until last month. The Port of Duluth again stands tall with an important addition to those who work with the cranes. They are numbered 1 and 2 making it much easier to talk about them. Photo taken on October 15, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-13-2007

Seneca greeted by Wayzata boys

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The crew on the salt water ship Seneca might have been a little confused when they found the Bantam A boys hockey team from Wayzata greeting them as they came into the Duluth Ship Canal (above) late Sunday afternoon. The team stepped off the bus for a short walk in Canal Park just as the Seneca was approaching so they stopped by to say hello. Two hours later, they were playing the Duluth East Bantam A team at Mars-Lakeview Arena in Duluth. Meanwhile back in the harbor, the Seneca tied up at the Cargill terminal in Duluth to load grain. No one seems to have told the ships on Lake Superior that today is a holiday. Seven are still coming and nine should be departing today. Photo taken November 11, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-12-2007

Vlistborg enters Duluth ship canal

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The Vlistborg arrived in Duluth early Saturday afternoon (above) to load beet pulp pellets. A sister ship, the Virginiaborg, departed Duluth on Friday evening with the same cargo. Today, two ships will be loading grain, one of them, the Adam E. Cornelius, will first discharge a cargo of limestone. The second, the Seneca, will be here for the 10th time since 1996, the first time as the Seneca. Other names it has had on those previous visits are: Mangal Desai, Millenium Eagle and the Stockmarnes. This evening, 4 boats will be here to load coal, but they will have to do it one at a time. We may see one of them, perhaps two, at anchor off the Duluth piers on Monday morning, waiting for the berth at Midwest Energy Resources to open up. Photo taken on November 10, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-11-2007

Vlistborg makes another visit to Duluth

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The Vlistborg has been here about once a year since it was built in 1999. It will be here today for the 10th time. At 434 feet, the Vlistborg is a smaller ship than most that come to the Twin Ports, but it is more flexible and can be configured to carry a wide variety of cargos although like many Wagenborg ships that come here, the Vlistborg will be loading beet pulp pellets brought here by train from North Dakota. They are taken usually to Spain or Morocco where they are used for animal feed. Beet pulp pellets, along with molasses, are two of the primary by-products of sugar production. Photo taken on November 20, 2002.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-10-2007

Federal Yukon will take wheat to Italy

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The Federal Yukon arrived in Duluth late Thursday afternoon (above) and went over to the CHS grain terminal in Superior to load durum wheat for the port of Bari, on the east coast of Italy, on the Adriatic Sea. The ship loaded general cargo in Brazil that it unloaded at Hamilton, Ontario before coming to Duluth in ballast (empty). It is named after the Yukon River in Canada, has an all Indian crew and flies the flag of Hong Kong. Photo taken on November 08, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-09-2007

Sam Laud arrives Duluth ship canal

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The Sam Laud loaded limestone in Inland, Michigan and will be here today to discharge it before going to Silver Bay to load taconite pellets for the Cleveland Bulk Terminal. It will likely discharge some of the pellets there before taking the 3 hour trip up the Cuyahoga River to the Mittal Steel mill to discharge the rest. It will then load limestone, this time in Calcite, Michigan, but will stay in the lower lakes to drop that cargo at Conneaut. It was last here in 2006, and before that twice in 2002.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-08-2007

Federal Matane is big and blue

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When the Federal Matane, seen above arriving in port earlier this year, departs the port tonight with a cargo of grain, it will leave the port empty of active cargo vessels probably for the first time this year. The American Century should be here now to load coal and will likely be departing before the Federal Matane does. There are people in the shipping business here who do not want the world to know that we close up shop in January for at least 2 months lest they might think twice about sending a ship here. I never like to admit that there will be no boats in port to watch or track. It would be bad for business. But never fear, Thursday will see 6 boats arriving in port to load cargo and 5 more will arrive on Friday. Snow and ice will follow shortly after that. Photo taken on May 12, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-07-2007

Jumbo Spirit bound for Spain

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Longshoremen at Lake Superior Warehousing and the crew on the Jumbo Spirit completed loading the ship with wind turbine blades Monday afternoon. They will likely depart the port for Spain later today. The last blades were placed on the weather deck or top deck. Each blade is fitted with two braces, one at each end. They were used to place and hold the blade on a truck as it arrived here and then to place it on the deck of the ship. Once they are sitting on one of the ship’s decks, iron workers from Lakehead Construction welded the braces to the deck. Above, Brian Kachinski from Lakehead is welding one of those braces holding a blade on the weather deck on Monday afternoon. This ship is going across the Atlantic Ocean and this cargo is built to catch the wind. The welds and additional tie downs make the cargo and the deck secure for the long trip to Spain. Photo taken on November 05, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-06-2007

Jumbo Spirit loads wind turbine blades

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Last week, here in Duluth, the cargo hold of the Jumbo Spirit contained a reactor vessel and 2 transformers. They discharged the reactor vessel here and then went to Toledo to discharge the transformers. The ship came back to the Twin Ports on Saturday afternoon with empty cargo holds that are now being filled with wind turbine blades for Spain. You can see above the first three blades that were lowered onto the lowest deck of the ship’s single cargo hold on Sunday morning. When that deck was filled, a tween deck was created above it for more of the total of 27 blades they are loading. The weather deck, or top deck, will be placed over that and it will carry the last of the blades. That should happen later today. Photo taken on November 04, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-05-2007

Alpena enters Duluth with cement

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The Lithuanian flagged Kapitonas Stulpinas was expected to arrive off the Duluth piers late last night, dropping anchor and waiting to come in to load grain. The Alpena came in last night with cement and the Canadian flagged Quebecois should be here this morning with another cargo of cement. The Alpena discharges cement at the LaFarge terminal in Superior; the Quebecois at St Lawrence Cement in Duluth. Above, the Alpena is coming in with cement in August, 2006. The Presque Isle loaded limestone in Port Dolomite, Michigan and arrived early Friday afternoon to discharge that cargo here before moving to Two Harbors to load taconite for Conneaut.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-03-2007

James R. Barker visits Duluth often

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The James R. Barker has been delayed by wind on Lake Superior but is expected in port today to load 58,000 tons of coal for the Presque Isle power plant operated by We Energies in Marquette, Michigan. It is one of 5 in their system providing electric power to Wisconsin and Michigan. This is the 28th trip to the Twin Ports for the Barker this season. Built in 1976, it was the third thousand footer to sail on the Great Lakes. Above, it is entering the Duluth ship canal in September, 2005.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-02-2007

Kapitonas Stulpinas here for load grain

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The Kapitonas Stulpinas is expected to arrive today to load grain. This will be the Lithuanian flagged ship’s 11th trip to the Twin Ports since 1996. It was built in Ukraine in 1981 as part of the former Soviet Union’s merchant vessel fleet. Like many other ships in that fleet, it is now owned and operated by the Lithuanian Shipping Company at Klaipeda, a port located on the Baltic Sea. Above, the ship is assisted by two tugs as it enters the harbor in November, 2002.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-01-2007

Canadian Prospector

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The bulk freighter Canadian Prospector came into port on Monday morning to load grain. It has been here 36 times since 1996 but the last visit was in October of 2004. It was built in 1964 as an ocean going freighter named Carlton and was lengthened in 1968 by 80 feet and renamed St. Lawrence Prospector. It was lengthened again in 1979 by 88 feet and given its current name. It is now 730 feet long. Above, the vessel is departing Duluth in July, 2002. [Canadian Prospector was scrapped in 2010.]
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-31-2007

Earl W. Oglebay in Silver Bay

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The Earl W. Oglebay should be here today to load sinter at the CN dock in West Duluth. Last August, the ship was sold by Oglebay Norton to Wisconsin and Michigan Steamship Company in Lakewood, Ohio. Most of the other boats that Oglebay Norton sold received a new name immediately. A note on the web says that the Oglebay part of this boat’s name was painted over last winter. If nothing else was added, it may be sailing in here as the Earl W. or at least the paint job may say that. Above, the Earl W. Oglebay is at the dock in Silver Bay the day after Christmas in 2002. The picture was taken from the deck of the Oglebay Norton, now called the American Integrity. It is departing Silver Bay after discharging coal it brought up the day before and returning to Duluth to load more coal. Photo taken on December 25, 2002.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-30-2007

Vista King visits 2 mature ladies

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Yesterday was one of the last days of summer. The Vista Fleet was out in the harbor for their final cruises this season. Captain Amanda Porter (above) was at the wheel of the Vista King late Sunday afternoon, positioning the boat so her passengers could get a better look as the Alpena was discharging cement at the Lafarge dock in Superior. The Alpena is on the outside, next to the J.A.W. Iglehart. The Iglehart is in long term layup at the dock. In past years, it visited Duluth 4 or 5 times a year. This was the Alpena’s 14th visit of the season, discharging cement on every trip. Photo taken on October 28, 2007. [The Vista King is no longer in service in Duluth.]
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-29-2007

Jumbo Spirit gets frequent sailing miles

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The Jumbo Spirit loaded a reactor vessel in Japan and came directly to Duluth to discharge it. That is the cylinder on the right side in the picture above looking into the ship’s hold. The object at the left, a transformer, was to be discharged in Toledo, a port they passed right by on the way here. The shipper (who pays the freight) for the reactor vessel wanted the trip to be direct to Duluth with no stops for any other cargo. As you can see, the transformers (there is another one, part of which is seen at the top left) could have easily been lifted out of the ship’s hold in Toledo on the way up. It would not have been a problem to discharge the transformers on the way back either except the ship also had to load wind turbine blades in Duluth. They would need the entire cargo hold for that. So the ship left for Toledo Saturday after discharging the reactor vessel here on Friday. They will return in about a week with an empty cargo hold ready for the wind turbine blades. Duluth to Toledo to Duluth is a trip of over 1,500 miles. Photo taken on October 27, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-28-2007

CG does Jumbo inspection

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Jumbo Spirit captain Remko DeGreef (left) conferred with local Coast Guard MST 3rd class Robert Beeren (right) in the pilot house of the ship on Friday morning. (MST – Marine Science Technician). The Coast Guard was on board to conduct an extensive inspection of the ship’s major systems. This was the last job on the ship for the captain on this trip. A relief captain arrived in Duluth on Thursday evening. DeGreef flew home last night. The ship discharged equipment destined for an oil sands project in Alberta. They will depart the port today to deliver more heavy cargo in Toledo before returning to the Twin Ports to load wind turbine blades, another very unusual sequence for a salt water ship in the Great Lakes. Photo taken on October 26, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-27-2007

Federal Hudson taking wheat out

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The salt water ship Federal Hudson departed Duluth last night just as the sun was setting behind it (above). It loaded durum wheat here and will be taking that cargo to Canada, Port-Cartier, Quebec specifically. Salt water ships almost always get to the Atlantic Ocean when they depart Duluth, but Port-Cartier is still in the Gulf of St. Lawrence which opens into the Atlantic. Normally, Canadian lakers take grain to Port-Cartier and other ports above Montreal. The grain is then transferred to a salt water ship destined for Europe or Africa in most cases. Canadian lakers turn around and return to a Great Lakes port such as Duluth to pick up more or another cargo. The durum wheat that the Federal Hudson is discharging will be picked up later this season by two other Fednav ships to top off their holds before leaving for Europe.The Federal Hudson will likely get another cargo, probably grain, at another port nearby and probably take it to Europe. This does not happen very often and is likely due to a very busy season in the Great Lakes. Photo taken on October 25, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-26-2007

American Fortitude still busy

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If you like variety, the American Fortitude is the boat to be on. It carries a wide variety of cargos to a wide variety of ports. It will be here today discharging limestone it loaded in Port Inland, Michigan. It may then load coal for Ashland and then go to Silver Bay to load taconite or it may go directly to Silver Bay after it completes discharging the limestone. You get a measure of unpredictability on the American Fortitude as well. Formerly the Courtney Burton, the boat is only making its 9th appearance here this season. Last year, it was here 24 times. On most of those trips, it loaded wheat for General Mills in Buffalo. Above, as the Courtney Burton, it is departing Duluth in August, 2002.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-25-2007

Presque Isle arriving Twin Ports

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Three vessels are expected to arrive in the Twin Ports today, five will depart. One of them, the Presque Isle, will do both. It is here after delivering Two Harbors taconite to Gary, Indiana. On this trip, it will load taconite at the CN dock in West Duluth to take to Nanticoke, Ontario. This is the 17th trip the Presque Isle, a 1,000-foot long tug barge combination, has made to the Twin Ports this season. It was here 16 times last year. Above, it is coming into the Duluth entry last July 28th. Photo taken on July 28, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-24-2007

Federal Hudson is big and red

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The Federal St. Laurent came under the Lift Bridge on Sunday afternoon to load grain at the CHS terminal in Superior. This is the 11th trip here since it arrived on June 6, 1996 as a brand new, bright red ship. It is still red but with saltwater, locks and docks working away on it over the last 10 years, the bright is probably gone. The Federal Hudson is expected to arrive today for the 6th trip since it was built in 2000. Both are owned by the Fednav Group in Montreal. The Federal Hudson, like most Fednav ships, is also bright red. It has 9 sister ships in the fleet that are nearly identical. The Federal St. Laurent was built in China; the Hudson in Japan. Above, the Federal Hudson is seen arriving in Duluth in 2002 on its second trip to the Twin Ports , also its second trip here in that year.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-23-2007

Beluga Efficiency unloads

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Today is a day for 1,000 foot lakers and the salt water vessel Beluga Efficiency. The saltie came in with wind turbine parts on October 14th but then had to wait at the Port Terminal before it could move over to the AGP elevator next door to load grain. It is expected to complete loading later today and then depart the port. Above, it is at the Port Terminal on October 15th discharging wind turbines. The American Century and the Paul R. Tregurtha were expected here very early this morning. Both will be loading coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior. The Tregurtha, the largest boat on the Great Lakes, will be making a short trip up the North Shore to deliver the coal to Minnesota Power at Taconite Harbor. It will return mid-week to load coal for its usual destination, Detroit Edison. Photo taken on October 15, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-22-2007

Arthur M. Anderson arriving Duluth

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Boats on Lake Superior took refuge during the recent storm, some in Whitefish Bay, others off the Keweenaw. Today, some of them should be back in service. Two of them, the Arthur M. Anderson (above, arriving Duluth in 2002) and the Cason J. Callaway, are expected here with cargo to discharge. The Halifax arrived here on Thursday morning to load bentonite, but loading was delayed by the heavy rain. When wet, bentonite is very mucky so it is not loaded in the rain. However, it sits outside in a big pile before being loaded. One would think it would be a mess after a rainstorm, but it has a peculiar reaction to water. When the outside of the pile gets wet, the bentonite expands and forms a crust around the whole pile about 2 inches thick. The pile of bentonite maintains or protects itself in the rain, a very nice property to the workers at the Hallett Dock. That characteristic also makes it valuable in situations where a sealant or an impermeable barrier is needed such as the bottom of a landfill so that waste material does not get into the soil. When the rain went away, the heavy equipment at the Hallett Dock dug into the pile. The outer crust was easily broken up and the sand-like material was loaded onto a conveyor belt going into the ship’s cargo hold. The Halifax finally departed Duluth last night.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-21-2007

BBC Elbe first visit to Duluth

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After several days at anchor, the BBC Elbe came into port on Friday afternoon (above) to load grain. Built in 2006, it is making its first trip to Duluth. The ship is owned by BBC Chartering & Logistic in Leer, Germany. This year, they also brought the BBC Finland, BBC Italy, BBC Mexico, BBC Mississippi, BBC Plata and the BBC Russia to the Twin Ports. There are 7 sister ships, built almost exactly alike. The BBC Mississippi, here in early July, is one of them. Another is the BBC Weser. The Federal Weser was just here, from another company. It was named after the Weser River in the north west corner of Germany. I assume the BBC Weser is also named for the river. Photo taken on October 19, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-20-2007

St. Clair in the rain

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The St. Clair arrived under the Lift Bridge early Thursday afternoon to load taconite. The storm was only just beginning to ease up but a good group was still out to say hello as it went by. The Federal Weser has been here since Monday afternoon trying to load flax, spring wheat and soy beans for Antwerp, Belgium. The weather has not been kind and today is still not supposed to be good grain loading weather (meaning dry) but they will try to get it down between the rain drops. Photo taken on October 18, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-19-2007

Halifax makes trail through ice

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There is significant boat traffic scheduled for today but the weather may be more significant. High winds could effect all shipping activity in the port. Coal and taconite can be loaded in rain, but sometimes equipment cannot be operated in high winds and they can make it difficult to tie up to a dock. Salt water ships will have trouble loading grain. That doesn’t happen in the rain. The Whistler got out last night with a cargo of grain, but the Federal Weser, Kamenitza and the BBC Elbe will probably be delayed. The Beluga Efficiency has been discharging wind turbine parts before loading grain. Neither activity goes well in high wind. The Halifax was expected earlier this morning. Above, it is coming into port last March, not at all bothered by the cold weather and ice. Photo taken on March 24, 2007. [Halifax was scrapped in 2011.]
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-18-2007

Federal Weser arrives with a splash

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The Federal Weser blew into town on Monday afternoon (above). Built in China in 2002, it is making its 7th visit to the Twin Ports, the last one in October, 2005. It is currently loading spring wheat, soy beans and flax for Antwerp, Belgium. If not delayed by weather, it is expected to leave late tonight. Like many Fednav ships, the Federal Weser is named for a river, this one in West Germany. Also like many Fednav ships, it is painted bright red. Photo taken on October 15, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-17-2007

Coast Guard training fun?

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The answer to the question: When does the Coast Guard learn how to manage a boat in heavy weather? is, When the weather is heavy. Yesterday was such a day, with waves up to 8 feet off the Duluth piers. Coast Guard station Duluth had their 47 foot motor life boat out in the waves for about two hours on Monday afternoon (above). If the weather is just as bad or worse today, they will be out there again. It is a good time to get new personnel into the swing of things. Yesterday’s crew was as new to Duluth as 4 months; others have been here over 3 years. All crew are tied down to the boat which is designed to right itself if it goes under. You just need to hold your breath and wait and the boat will bring you back up, I am told. Photo taken on October 15, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-16-2007