Lots of ice, lots of boats

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Thursday April 2: The Walter J. McCarthy Jr., the Edwin H. Gott and the Edward L. Ryerson were set to depart on Wednesday evening. If they did not make it, they will probably try today.  The Lee A. Tregurtha made it to Two Harbors last night, the Gott should be there some time today. Both are there to load iron ore pellets.Very cold temperatures in December suggested we could have a tough spring fighting thick ice to get the season moving. The ice never seemed to be as bad as those cold temperatures suggested. Turns out the other end of the deal, when the ice starts to break up in the spring, might cause more problems. The severe east winds on Tuesday pushed a lot of ice, much of it broken up, right to the Duluth shore line, although not into the ship canal. The Lee A. Tregurtha was the first to find out about the problem, departing Duluth around 9:15 am and getting stopped in the ice not long after that. The Alder went out to help. Around 11 am, the Alpena was approaching the bridge and pulled up, deciding to wait. The picture shows the Alpena waiting in the water. It is not very often one sees a boat at that spot and not moving. The boat should have stayed. It decided to go out around 2:30 in the afternoon and not much beyond the piers; it too was stopped in the ice. Late in the afternoon, a west wind eased the ice jam. The Lee A. Tregurtha did get to Two Harbors, the Alpena was on the way home, and there was open water in front of the Duluth piers at 7 pm last night. The Alder left for Lake Michigan and an expected trip to Duluth by the Mackinaw was canceled. However, the Biscayne Bay left for Duluth last night from Thunder Bay. It will be here later today after a stop in Two Harbors to break a little ice.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-02-2009

Alpena arrives Duluth with cement

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Twelve boats spent the winter layup in the port; two of them plan to depart today; the James R. Barker with coal for Marquette, and the Lee A. Tregurtha light to Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets. A surprising late addition to the Monday schedule is the Alpena. It usually makes its first appearance here around the middle of April but will be here about noon with a cargo of cement for the Lafarge dock in Superior. The early arrival is a bit surprising since, according to the Alpena News, Lafarge is in the process of laying off 130 employees at their cement plant in Alpena, Michigan, also the home port of the Alpena. It is seen above in the Duluth ship canal in August 2006.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-30-2009

Alpena arrives Duluth with usual cargo

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Within this year of the wind turbine in the Twin Ports, today is the ‘day of the wind turbine.’ We expect one ship, the BBC Plata, to depart the port after discharging wind turbine parts, one, the Flinterland, will arrive to load wind turbine parts, and another one, the SCL Bern, will be here to discharge wind turbine parts, although it will have to wait for the first two to finish. And until wind turbines take over, the folks at Midwest Energy will be loading 4 boats with coal today, all going to electrical power plants on the lower lakes. And the Alpena, seen above coming into port August, 2006, will bring cement as it usually does about once every 3 weeks.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-27-2008

Alpena here on 5th visit of year

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The Alpena is here for the 5th time this season, bringing cement on each occasion, as it was doing above in September, 2002. It was originally the Leon Fraser when it was built in 1942 for the Pittsburgh Steamship Company. It was modified for salt water duty for a time, sat idle during the 80’s and was shortened by 120 feet in the late 80’s and turned into a cement carrier. That happened at Fraser Shipyards in Superior. Inland Lakes bought the Leon Fraser in 1990, renamed it and put it in the cement trade in June, 1991. It is a very pretty boat and it often attracts a crowd.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 06-28-2008

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

Alpena arrives Duluth with cement

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Eleven boats are expected to come under the Lift Bridge today. If the lineup didn’t change, 5 of them have already come or gone. Of the 11, the James R. Barker counts twice since it should be here around 4 am to load coal for Marquette, Michigan and should be departing under the Bridge early evening. In a very strange occurrence, a ship named the BBC Italy will be making its first trip to the Twin Ports to load grain for Italy! The BBC Russia is expected on Monday and will not be taking anything to Russia. Despite the fact that the Alpena always brings in cement, it one of the prettiest and most popular boats that visit Duluth. Above, Alpena fans greet the boat on September 3rd of this year. Photo taken on September 03, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-06-2007