|Tug barges are interesting vessel(s). The Great Lakes Trader (barge) and the Joyce L. VanEnkevort (tug) were loading iron ore pellets at the CN dock in West Duluth on Thursday (January 2, 2014). Click the image for a larger version. Ice was an obvious problem but a tug/barge has a unique tool for breaking it up: the tug. Here the tug (right) had unleashed herself from the barge and was out shoveling the driveway while the dock was loading iron ore pellets into the Great Lakes Trader cargo holds. The tug later moved out into the river to clear a space for the vessel to back away from the slip and make the turn in the river so she could depart. Turning is a much bigger problem in an icy river than cruising down (or up) the river and needs more space.That done the tug returned to reconnect to the barge and they departed the slip together, using the newly created space in the river to make the turn. High winds on Lake Superior delayed her departure after she cleared the Duluth ship canal so she dropped anchor off the Duluth piers to wait.American Steamship has called in their vessels for the season but other shipping companies are continuing operations, if more slowly than usual. The Coast Guard has many vessels below the Soo working to keep the shipping lanes open on the St. Mary’s River, the St. Clair River and the often troubling Rock Cut.
In this article in UpNorthLive on January 2, 2014, the Coast Guard reports that Coast Guard crews have been doing their best to keep this multi-billion dollar shipping industry moving.
Capt. Steve Teschendorf is now Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie Commander. He is remembered here as the last captain on the Sundew and the first captain on the Alder. In the article, he is quoted as saying, "It’s (the ice) caused some delays, but we have not had any of what we call a waterway closure at this point, so things of been slowed but they are moving." He reported that ships are noticing delayed travel times and if they plan on making it through the locks they need to do so by January 15th. That’s when the locks close for the season until March.
Ken Gerasimos, Key Lakes/ Great Lakes Fleet, took this picture of the disengaged pair on Thursday.
January 4, 2014 by 1 Comment
October 15, 2008 by Leave a Comment
|Since 2003, there have never been more than 10 arrivals at the Duluth entry in one day. Since then we have had that many arrivals in one day 7 times. We have had 9 ships arrive in one day 9 times since 2003. Today should push that number to 10. During that time, the average number of daily ship arrivals at the Duluth entry is 3.84. Included in the mix today are two tug barges, two river class boats, two thousand footers and three boats between 730 and 770 feet long. The self-unloading barge Great Lakes Trader pushed by the tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort should be the first to arrive and may be gone by the time the sun is up.|
|*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-15-2008|
September 15, 2007 by Leave a Comment
|The self-unloading barge Great Lakes Trader arrived in port on Friday afternoon (above). Here on its 10th visit of the year, it is loading taconite at the CN dock in West Duluth. It was here a total of 10 times last year. The barge, built in 2000 in Mississippi, is pushed by the tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort. It was built in 1998 in Sturgeon Bay. They have been together since 2000. Two boats will be here today with limestone. Both will then be loading taconite. Three thousand footers will be here loading coal, the Indiana Harbor, the American Integrity and the American Century. Photo taken on September 14, 2007.|
|*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-15-2007|
June 29, 2007 by Leave a Comment
|The self-unloading barge Great Lakes Trader is expected in port today with a cargo of limestone. The barge is pushed by the tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort. The barge was built in 2000 in Mississippi and the tug was built in 1998 in Sturgeon Bay. They have been together since 2000. The picture above, taken on December 11, 2005, shows the tug’s elevated pilot house that allows the captain a better view when navigating the vessel. With lake freighters and salt water ships, the captain is in the pilot house which is usually the highest point on the vessel, many decks above the main deck.|
|*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 06-29-2007|
May 10, 2007 by Leave a Comment
|The self-unloading barge Great Lakes Trader arrived yesterday afternoon (above) with a load of limestone. The barge is pushed by the tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort. The barge was built in 2000 in Mississippi and the tug was built in 1998 in Sturgeon Bay. They have been together since 2000. You can see the tug’s elevated pilot house that allows the captain better vision when navigating the vessel. The barge has a self unloader on the deck. After discharging their cargo of limestone, they will move over to the Burlington Northern Dock in Superior to load taconite for a down-bound cargo. Photo taken on May 09, 2007.|
|*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-10-2007|
December 26, 2006 by Leave a Comment
|Christmas Day was a light day for shipping in the Twin Ports. The John G. Munson departed Duluth around 8 am and the tug barge Great Lakes Trader arrived early afternoon (above). It came in under the Lift Bridge to get fuel before moving over to the Burlington Northern dock in Superior to load taconite. Both the Duluth and the Superior entry will be active today, and Two Harbors will be full with a line waiting. There may be some changes to this listing since shipping companies do not like to have their boats sitting around waiting. That does nothing but spend their money, although it will give the crew a little more time with Christmas left overs. Lobster and steak are the mainstays of most Christmas dinners on Great Lakes boats.|
|*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-26-2006|
August 19, 2006 by Leave a Comment
|The self-unloading barge Great Lakes Trader will be here today to load its usual cargo, taconite. It is the vessel’s 3rd trip here this season. It was here 5 times last year. The tug Joyce L. Van Enkevort, with an elevated pilot house, connects to the barge and provides the power to the vessel. The combination is usually referred to as the Great Lakes Trader. Above, it is departing Duluth in December last year.|
|*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-19-2006|