John D. Leitch arrives for pellets

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The John D. Leitch arrived Duluth at noon on March 31, 2017. She will follow the Baie St. Paul loading iron ore pellets at the CN dock in West Duluth. It is the first trip of the new season for both Canadian flagged vessels. The Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin will be the 3rd consecutive Canadian vessel to pick up pellets at the CN after she arrives later today. I like to see the Leitch here; she has one of the most interesting looks of any vessels that visit Duluth. I just updated the images for the Leitch that I have from past visits; you can see that on the Leitch page.

Missed the bridge by seconds but phoned it in

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I have a really tough job. Every day in the summer I have to figure out how to cross the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge to deliver my daily newsletter to my good friends (and advertisers) at the South Pier Inn. Or I should say, how to time my trip across so I can deliver the papers and get back before it goes up again.Today, Sunday, July 5, 2013, was not my best day for timing my sprint. On the good side, the John D. Leitch was set to enter the Superior entry to load iron ore pellets at the BN but had a change of heart and perhaps more to the point, needed to get fuel at Calumet so she decided to come in using the Duluth entry. My readers would be able 2015-0705-2056to see her come in and better yet, I found out about it before I printed the paper.Next challenge, I went out to take my run across the bridge to the Inn, at about 10:23 this morning, knowing that I would have enough time (8 minutes) to get across and back before the bridge went up to let the Vista boat come in at 10:30 (the bridge only goes up on the half hour for smaller vessels). I started across. After all, this was my 46th issue of the summer and I had the pattern down good. I could make it across and back in 8 minutes, if no one wanted to talk to me. As I approached the bridge, I saw the Leitch way out there and the Vista boat  2015-0705-2068approaching the Duluth piers. I stopped and did some mental calculations (not my strong point, as you will see). The Leitch was far enough out there that I had time (I thought) to deliver the papers and get back again before the bridge went up for the Vista boat and maybe the Leitch too. So I started to run across, ran into the South Pier Inn, threw my papers on the counter and ran out (luckily, no one wanted to say hello). I had 3 minutes left, I started to run, just as I arrived at the new light they installed, it turned from walk to stop. I thought I still had enough time to cross, since I still had 2 minutes left before she went up. But I thought about the clean record I have had for the last 15 years. The bridge has never yelled at me, as it sometimes does and someone tries to beat the system. I stopped, said a bad word and turned around.

I decided to take a walk down to the water behind the Hotel; might as well get some exercise since I could not get back to take a picture of the Leitch. We don’t see her so much these days. I ran into 20100806_3126Dale and Bette Sola, the owners of the hotel. They were out back tending to their wonderful garden. I started to tell Dale (at right, taking me for a ride on his luxury liner) my sad tale. He added to it by reminding me that it was too bad I didn’t have my camera since the light is better on that side of the bridge in the morning. I felt worse, then realized I had my iPhone on my hip; it had a camera in it. Most of the world knows that but I keep forgetting since I am a snob about taking pictures with a phone.

But it was a chance to turn defeat into victory. I phoned the pictures and the Leitch went by, I crossed the bridge and started to write this. Above you see the symbols, thanks to Dale, of my victory, the work of my iPhone. Now I just have to remember to get my finger away from the lens when I take an iphone picture.

A cold day in Duluth for Cornelia

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The Cornelia came in by way of the Superior entry at 6:41 this morning (November 23, 2013). This was the first really cold day in Duluth and the Cornelia certainly proves the point. I took a picture of her hull, above right,  coated with ice, courtesy of an 11 mph head wind from the North West with gusts up to 30 mph as she crossed Lake Superior yesterday. She was discharging cargo at the Port Terminal while the John D. Leitch was waiting at the Calumet Fuel dock for the Stewart J. Cort to finish loading iron ore pellets at the BN. Turning around, I caught the rest of the Cornelia. Her previous name was Pine and you can see the outline of that name toward the end of her current name in the picture below.
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Leitch leaves salt; takes iron ore pellets

johndleitch20111109_0005Sometimes, I just have to look out my windows and walk to work to find out what is going on, or at least what I think is going on. Take today (Wednesday, November 9, 2011). Or last night first, I looked out my window and saw the pile of salt that the John D. Leitch was discharging onto the ground at North American Salt Company on Railroad Street.
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While walking to work, johndleitch20111109_0026I noticed the Leitch had departed, leaving a giant pile of salt.
johndleitch20111109_0036 A few more steps and I noticed the bridge was up for the Leitch to depart. About an hour later, I looked out my window and saw her returning. She is now, I think, at the CN dock in West Duluth, probably loading iron ore pellets. I am guessing her quick trip out allowed her to clean out her holds and return to load them with iron ore pellets.

John D. Leitch departs Twin Ports

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The Canadian flagged John D. Leitch, seen above departing Duluth last May, is expected to arrive today for the 6th time this season. On each trip, as today, it loaded coal for Ontario Power Generation in Nanticoke. Before 2001, it was known as the Canadian Century. In that year, its cargo hold was enlarged when a new midsection was installed. It was then renamed to its current name. It was rebuilt specifically to do what it is doing today, taking coal to Ontario Power Generation in Nanticoke. It may drop anchor off the Duluth piers since it will have to wait for the American Mariner, the Kaye E. Barker and the Indiana Harbor to load coal at Midwest Energy. Photo taken on May 15, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-17-2008