Barker last thousand footer to leave

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The James R. Barker departed Duluth late this afternoon (January 12, 2017) with a cargo of iron ore pellets she loaded at the CN dock in West Duluth. That is the Great Lakes Towing tug Kentucky assisting her through the Duluth harbor. She is the last 1,000 footer to depart the Twin Ports this season. Four other 1,000-footers are already in port for winter layup: the Paul R. Tregurtha, American Spirit, Burns Harbor and the American Century
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Tug Missouri leaves town with 2 tugs in tow

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The Great Lakes Towing tug Missouri brought the tugs Indiana and Arkansas into port yesterday to replace the tugs North Dakota and Kentucky. Today (October 18, 2014), she departed with the Kentucky and the North Dakota, two tugs that take with them a lot of harbor history guiding salt water ships as well as thousand footers around the port and  breaking ice in the harbor for all who needed a clear path.
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New tugs for old tugs

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We started the day (Friday, October 17, 2014) with 4 Great Lakes Towing tugs, the Minnesota, Kentucky, North Carolina and North Dakota tied up at  their dock in Duluth. By noon, the tugs Indiana and Arkansas  had joined the lineup replacing the Kentucky and North Dakota. Above, the Indiana (2nd from left) and Arkansas (third from left) had joined the lineup.
That’s the Kentucky still tied up on the left; she will be leaving and the North Carolina is at the head of the line here. She will be staying along with the Minnesota. Below, the tug Missouri pulled the Arkansas and Indiana under the Lift Bridge this morning.
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Above, the Missouri (left) is still pulling the Arkansas and the Indiana while the North Dakota and Minnesota are behind them.
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Below, they break up while they get the new tugs tied up at the dock, one at a time. The Minnesota is bringing the Indiana in first.
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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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Miner here (with help) for winter layup

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The Mesabi Miner came under the Lift Bridge on Monday morning at 6:15. Just after clearing the Bridge, the 1,000-footer ground to a halt in the ice behind the DECC. The tug Kentucky had trouble breaking away from the ice at the tug berth but was soon on the scene opening a crack in the ice in front of the Mesabi Miner. After a half hour in the ice, the Miner broke free, and with the Kentucky leading the way, moved over to the Murphy Fuel Dock. Meanwhile, the Alder also had trouble getting away from its dock, but after a half hour, it was away in time to clear a track for the Mesabi Miner to move from the Fuel Dock to its winter berth at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior. The Kentucky stayed close by the Miner (above) until it was safely and securely tied up at the dock, thus ending the 2007-08 shipping season in the Twin Ports. The three boats will likely meet again in 2 months when the new season will open and the ice will likely be a lot thicker. Hopefully, the temperature will be a bit higher. Photo taken on January 21, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-22-2008

Kentucky provides tug assist

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In the summer, the Great Lakes tugs can often be seen helping vessels make their way around the harbor and up to a berth. Above, the tug Kentucky is pulling the Canadian flagged Algoisle from a berth at CHS in Superior in November, 2004 so it can move down the Duluth harbor and out the Duluth entry to Lake Superior. In the winter, the same tugs can be found backing and ramming ice in the harbor to break open or clear a track for a US or Canadian laker trying to move through the ice. Today, or last night, the Kentucky will break, or broke, ice in front of the Mesabi Miner as it returned from Marquette after the last delivery of cargo from or to the port. The state of the ice is an unknown since there has been no traffic within the port since the Mesabi Miner left on Friday and more important, the temperatures have plummeted. Almost for sure, the Mesabi Miner will come in, or has come in, the Duluth entry and will or has made it to its winter berth at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior. It was due here around 2 am this morning, but could easily have been delayed by weather. It may try to make it as far as it can in the ice and then wait there for morning, when additional tugs and or the Alder can provide more assistance. The Miner will not have to drop an anchor while it waits since being surrounded by ice performs the same service of keeping the vessel from moving. Photo taken on November 09, 2004
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-21-2008