Kaye E. Barker makes short runs

The Kaye E. Barker departed Duluth on Friday afternoon (above) with a cargo of coal for Taconite Harbor. It will be back this afternoon to load coal again, this time to take to Marquette, Michigan, on the south shore of Lake Superior. It will be the 16th trip to the Twin Ports the Barker has made this season, more than double the number of the last 10 years. Many of those trips, like today, were ‘local’ runs to Lake Superior ports. Photo taken on December 12, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-13-2008

Kaye E. Barker enters icy Duluth canal

Winter weather is not kind to ship arrival and departure times. It is a little early for ice problems but two boats expected yesterday should be here today instead (the Kaye E. Barker, seen above entering the Duluth piers last December, and the Canadian Olympic). The St. Clair was expected back from Silver Bay to load another cargo of coal for Silver Bay, but instead it left here yesterday with coal for Ontario Power Generation in Nanticoke. The Canadian Olympic and Kaye E. Barker are still loading coal and they will slow down the two thousand footers that are behind them on Lake Superior. The American Integrity was expected around noon which would put it in line after the two boats above. The Indiana Harbor was behind the Integrity and we may see it at anchor off the Duluth piers waiting for the boats in front to get their coal and depart. The pile up here for coal might be why the St. Clair was rerouted. Shipping companies do not like to have their fleet standing around waiting in line.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-02-2008

Kaye E. Barker and bothersome ice

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

Kaye E. gets visit from Captain’s family

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

Kaye E. has visibility problem

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It is another big day for coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior. And of course, at the end of the season, sometime in January, we will be able to say it was another big year for coal in the Twin Ports. The Walter J. McCarthy Jr. came in last night around 6 pm to load coal for Detroit Edison. The Kaye E. Barker is expected this morning to load coal for Marquette, Michigan. There have been weather delays there so the Barker may have to wait. This is the first visit to the Twin Ports for the Barker since it suffered a boiler explosion on November 5th. They were on Lake Superior close to Whitefish Point when the explosion occurred. Above, the Barker is seen coming into the port for winter lay up on January 23rd, 2004.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-09-2006