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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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.


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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Self unloader self unloading in Marquette, Michigan

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Thanks to Rod Burdick for this picture he took of the American Century on August 12, 2016. She had loaded coal here at Midwest Energy and took it over to Marquette. His caption:  American Century unloading western coal from Superior, into the Upper Harbor hopper, Marquette, Michigan (August 12, 2016) – visit was first since her only other in January 2007.

Me again: Here we usually see the self unloader sitting on the deck or moved to the side while coal is dropped into the cargo holds. In the picture above, the self unloader is doing what it was built to do; discharge cargo.

3 lighthouses, 2 boats, 1 bridge, 1 omelet, 1 waffle and Holly

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Breakfast was great at Pier B this morning (Wednesday, July 13, 2016), but it was hard to concentrate on the waffles and omelet with all the boats going by. I caught the American Century coming in to load 68,000 tons of coal at Midwest Energy Resources for the St. Clair power plant of Detroit Edison. Half an hour earlier, Holly was out taking pictures of the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. leaving with the same amount of coal, also loaded at Midwest Energy. She was headed for Presque Isle, Michigan. I left my omelet sitting quietly beside her waffle and went out to get a picture of her taking a picture of her. (Please note all 3 lighthouses in the picture at the top.)
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Duluth comings and goings

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The Buffalo arrived Duluth at 11:23 on Tuesday evening, September 8, 2015. Above, she departed under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge the next morning at 11:00. Below, she is turning in the harbor toward the bridge, on her way to Silver Bay to load iron ore pellets. She will take some of the pellets to the Cleveland Bulk Terminal located at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland. They will then move up the river to the Mittal steel plant to discharge the remainder.
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Despite the Maltese flag, the Pilica (above and below) is owned by the Polish Steamship Company. She was built in Poland in 1999 and usually carries a Polish crew. She is loading grain at Riverland Ag (formerly Cargill) on this her 13th visit to the Twin Ports (arriving on September 7th). Time flies when you are getting old; I remember boarding the ship on May 23rd, 2000 when she had just been built and was making her first trip to the St. Lawrence Seaway. Fifteen years ago, it was a thrill to see such a brand new ship. Today, it is fun to welcome her as a seasoned veteran of the Duluth Superior grain trade.
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Below, the American Century arrived Duluth on Tuesday evening, September 8, 2015 to load coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior. Just above, she departed the next morning  with 68,000 tons of low sulfur coal she will deliver to the St. Clair electrical generation plant of Detroit Edison.
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American Century gets help from Kentucky

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She is about to make the turn toward the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge on her way out to Lake Superior with a cargo of iron ore pellets loaded at the CN in West Duluth. More on the American Century.
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