Boats backwards and forward in Duluth today

It is a beautiful day in the neighborhood; lots of people, sun and even a little excitement. The Vista Queen is not trying to beat the Algolake into the Duluth ship canal. The Algolake had just cleared the canal after departing in reverse. That sometimes happens when a boat is discharging salt at the North American Salt Dock, just behind the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge. It is easier to simply back straight out into the lake than it is to clear the dock, make a 180 turn and then go under the bridge normally. Nick Stenstrup was up for the day from St. Paul and will have his video of the unusual departure on YouTube later tonight. I will add the link here when it is there. A little earlier, the Algoma Quebecois was greeted by a large crowd as she came into port with cement

Quebecois here with cement

The Quebecois is here discharging cement at the Holcim facility, formerly St. Lawrence Cement. Earlier this year, she, along with the entire Upper Lakes Group fleet, was sold to Algoma Central. Her name has been changed to the Algoma Quebecois although she is still sailing under her previous name.  Click below to listen to her whistle as she came under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge on November 1, 2011.

Out with the new and in with the old …

As the sun was going down on Wednesday evening, October 5th, the 1,004 foot Mesabi Miner was departing the port with 58,000 tons of coal for Presque Isle, Michigan while the Canadian flagged Quebecois, only 730 feet long, was coming in with a cargo of cement for Holcim (formerly St. Lawrence Cement). While in the picture, the two pilot houses are passing just next to each other, the Miner pilot house is on her stern and the Quebecois pilot house is on her bow. The Quebecois is showing her age. Built in 1963, that’s where they put the pilot house then. A decade or so later, that long standing tradition was turned around and boats were built with the pilot house at the stern of the boat.

Quebecois approaches Aerial Lift Bridge

In fifteen trips here last season, twice the number of trips it usually makes to the Twin Ports, the Quebecois brought cement ten times and loaded iron ore pellets on the five other visits. Today, it makes only its 3rd trip this year, the second time it has discharged cement. There are two cement docks in port. The tug G. L. Ostrander brought the barge Integrity with cement to the Lafarge dock in Superior over the weekend. It left on Sunday morning. The Quebecois will discharge cement at the St. Lawrence Cement plant in Duluth. It usually takes a couple days to discharge the cement at St. Lawrence. Photo taken on September 07, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 06-29-2009

Quebecois arrives Duluth with cement

The Quebecois came into port on Sunday afternoon (above) with a cargo of cement to discharge at the St. Lawrence Cement plant in Duluth. This is its 59th trip here since 1996, the 11th trip this season. The cement is loaded in Mississauga, Ontario, just outside Toronto. It is quarried and processed there, and shipped to several distribution points, most of which are in Canada. It is a four day trip from Mississauga to Duluth. Photo taken on September 07,2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-08-2008

Quebecois departing Duluth harbor

The Quebecois came into port on Monday night with a cargo of cement for St. Lawrence Cement in Duluth. This is the boat’s 5th trip to the Twin Ports this season. On each, it has discharged cement. On the previous trips, it went to the BNSF Dock to load iron ore pellets after discharging cement. Today it will go up to Thunder Bay instead and load grain for a port probably on the St. Lawrence River. Above, it is departing Duluth in June, 2002.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-14-2008

Quebecois here with more cement

The Quebecois came into port last night (above) with a cargo of cement for St. Lawrence Cement in Duluth. This is the first cargo St. Lawrence will discharge this year, and it is the first visit here this season for the boat. Last year, the Canadian flagged steamer brought a cargo of cement here about once a month, each time to the St. Lawrence plant. Other traffic today will load both iron ore pellets and coal. Later this week, the Gadwall, the first salt water ship of the season, is expected. It will load grain.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-08-2008

Quebecois departs Duluth

The weather has not been too great and won’t be. It has a varied effect on the business of loading and unloading cargo. We have 2 boats discharging cement here this weekend. The Alpena, a regular visitor her, has a completely internal discharging system, much like a tanker. Bad weather doesn’t effect the process much at all. Over at St. Lawrence Cement, they were delayed discharging the Quebecois (seen above on a previous visit) for a while on Friday by rain. It is not too hard to figure why. They can discharge with a light drizzle, but they close the cargo holds and wait out anything heavier. They use an auger system over there that gets the cement from inside the cargo hold where high winds don’t have much effect. Grain loading is stopped for rain and sometimes for high winds. And coal and taconite wait for nothing. Rain, snow and ice doesn’t stop them much, it just gets a little uncomfortable sometimes. Photo taken June 25, 2002.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-07-2007

Quebecois lined up to depart Duluth

The American Mariner and Mesabi Miner departed the Twin Ports around 4 am yesterday. The Carola, Mark Hanna and BBC Mississippi all departed around 6 pm. The Canadian Transport came in early morning yesterday and left mid morning. This is all to say that yesterday was a better day for boat watching than today. Many had hoped to see the Niña come under the Lift Bridge yesterday morning, but after drifting a bit off the Duluth piers Wednesday morning, it came in the Superior entry and is now at Lakehead Boat Basin, 1000 Minnesota Ave. on Park Point. A press release stated it will be open to the public on Friday, July 12th. Careful readers may note that today, Thursday, is the 12th. Friday is the 13th. So, starting either today or tomorrow, the public can tour the ship. It spent the night in Two Harbors. Only two boats are set to arrive under the Lift Bridge, the Presque Isle arriving and the Quebecois departing. Above, the Quebecois departs Duluth in June, 2002.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 07-12-2007

Quebecois brings cement

The steam powered Quebecois will be here today for the 2nd time this season. It was also here on April 1st, at the beginning of the season (above). It was here 6 times last year. On all trips last year and this, it brought cement to discharge at the St. Lawrence Cement plant in Duluth. Built in 1966 in Montreal, it has two sister ships working the Great Lakes, the Montrealais and the Canadian Miner. The Miner is diesel powered, the other two steam. Beyond that, they are almost identical ships. Photo taken on April 01, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 06-17-2007

Quebecois retains steam engine

The steam powered Quebecois will be here today for the 5th time this season and the 2nd trip this month. The boat will be discharging a cargo of cement. Built in 1966 in Montreal, it is one of the few vessels sailing the Great Lakes for any length of time that has kept the same name it had when launched. Photo taken June 25, 2002.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-24-2005