Click below to hear her whistle as she arrived on October 11, 2011
The Joseph L. Block was built for Inland Steel by the Bay Shipbuilding Company of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin and was named for a former chairman of the board of Inland Steel who was born in 1902. He was chairman from 1959 to 1967.
Mittal Steel, an international company home based in India, bought Inland Steel in 1998 and had to immediately divest itself of the three boats working the Great Lakes for Inland because of US restrictions in the foreign ownership of US vessels (the Jones Act). So the Joseph L. Block and her two sister ships, the Edward L. Ryerson and the Wilfred Sykes, are now owned by Central Marine Logistics in Griffith, Indiana.
The Joseph L. Block has a 250-foot self-unloading boom on her deck with both bow and stern thrusters that allow her to maneuver in tight situations such as those found in river channels and close to berths. She has 24 hatches that open into 7 cargo holds below deck. And, most important, she has through all the changes over the years kept her original name.
She made 14 trips to the Twin Ports in 2010, usually bringing limestone in to discharge before loading iron ore pellets, a pattern she has followed for many years. During the 2012-2013 shipping season, she came to Duluth-Superior 13 times.
During the 2016 season, she also made at least one trip through the Welland Canal and down the seaway with ore.
Picture above taken Sunday, July 20, 2008: Discharging limestone at the CN (formerly DM&IR) Dock in West Duluth
The Joe Block arrived Duluth at 11:40 on Friday, September 2, 2016 (above) with limestone she discharged at the CN dock in Duluth; she will then move to the Two Harbors CN dock to load iron ore pellets.
Above, she departs under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge on June 10, 2013; below she is in the Duluth after going under the Bridge on June 27, 2013
Above, in the Duluth harbor, on her way out the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge.
Picture above taken Saturday, August 25, 2007; below taken Thursday, December 6, 2007
Pictures below taken Thursday, November 22, 2006 while she was discharging limestone at the Hallett #8 dock.
Picture below taken Wednesday, November 22, 2000: Steward Tom Anderson of Escanaba, Michigan prepares for Thanksgiving, the day after my badly timed visit. The menu also included crab legs, prime rib and Cornish game hens with shrimp cocktail and all the usual trimmings
Below, that’s the Federal Agno approaching the Duluth Ship Canal as the Block is moving out into Lake Superior on November 23, 2006.
Picture above taken Tuesday, September 7, 2004
Picture above and below taken while entering the Duluth harbor. Above on Thursday, June 20, 2002, below on August 8, 2002