Labor Day in Duluth – people, boats and good weather

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The Mesabi Miner arrived in the Duluth ship canal around 4 this afternoon (Labor Day, September 7, 2015) and the Vikingbank arrived shortly after her. The Cason J. Callaway and the Presque Isle came in this morning. Still to come today: the Lee A. Tregurtha will be arriving and the Pilica is due in from the anchorage. Later, the Nordana Emilie and the Cason J. Callaway are expected to depart.

Mesabi Miner goes back to work

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After a couple days getting some early season maintenance done at the Port Terminal, the Mesabi Miner pulled away on Sunday afternoon, March 29, 20125 from her berth there (above). After turning around, she made her way over to Midwest Energy where she would load 58,000 tons of coal for Minnesota Power’s plant at Taconite Harbor.
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Mesabi Miner back in Duluth

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After the Mesabi Miner lost the race to be the first to depart the port, she settled for 2nd place, taking coal to Taconite Harbor. She turned around and headed back to Duluth, arriving at 8:51 (above) this morning (March 26, 2015) and easily winning the first to arrive trophy. But all was not so good; she will undergo a couple days of maintenance at the Port Terminal (below) before returning to Midwest Energy for more coal. She sits in loose ice here, but that is better than the John G. Munson. She is having lots of trouble with ice just this side of the Soo Locks. Both the Mackinaw and the Alder are working to clear a path through the ice for her to continue down bound to Gary and for the Edwin H. Gott and the Roger Blough to continue up bound.
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The good old days

While we wait for the Alder to open up the season, probably on Monday, March 9, here is a video I created during the beginning of the 2007 season.

Mesabi Miner in for winter

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The Mesabi Miner came in on Monday morning, January 19, 2015 after discharging her last cargo of coal at Presque Isle in Marquette. After stopping for fuel, she began to move over to Midwest Energy Resources to spend the winter. She had a tug assist from a Great Lakes Towing tug, seen here (just barely) moving around her stern at left.

Getting grain and iron ore pellets on a Sunday evening in Duluth

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After a week at anchor off the Duluth piers, the Raba came in on Sunday evening, June 29, 2014 and with the assistance of 2 Great Lakes Towing tugs, went over to the CHS dock in Superior to load grain. Earlier, the Mesabi Miner arrived and is here taking on fuel at the Calumet Fuel dock at the Port Terminal. Shortly after the Raba passed by her, she moved away from the fuel dock and went over to the CN in West Duluth to load iron ore pellets.
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Mesabi Miner In

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Storm outside, not so bad inside

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Outside the harbor, with winds gusting as high as “unable to open my car door, almost,” Duluth waits for the snow to come; within the hour as this picture was taken at 10am on April 11, 2013. The Mesabi Miner came under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge this morning at 2:23. She arrived at the Fuel Dock as the Paul R. Tregurtha finished and departed for Midwest Energy where she is now loading coal. The Mesabi Miner will load iron ore pellets at the CN in Duluth, just across the St. Louis River from Midwest Energy. The winds, gusting at high as 47 mph, may delay arrivals and departures today.
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Indiana Harbor comes in for fuel

Listen to her whistle as she comes in:
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After spending the winter at Lakehead Pipeline in Superior, the Indiana Harbor departed using the Superior entry and came around to use the Duluth entry to come in for fuel (March 23, 2013, Saturday around 1 pm. She will depart later today for Two Harbors to load her first cargo of the year, iron ore pellets. She is the first big boat to enter the Twin Ports this season, but I don’t think we can call her the first arrival of the season since she spent the winter here. Below, the Mesabi Miner is at anchor waiting on the Roger Blough to finish at the CN dock in Duluth before she comes in to become the first arrival of the season. She also spent the winter here, but she took a cargo of coal to Marquette a couple days ago and is coming back here to load iron ore pellets.
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Mesabi Miner first to depart

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The Mesabi Miner departed Duluth this morning (March 20, 2013) at 9:30 am, on her way to Marquette to discharge a cargo of coal. She will return here Saturday to load iron ore pellets. She was the first departure of the season for Duluth Superior, she will be the first arrival in Marquette and she will become the first arrival here when she returns on Saturday.

Coming home for the winter

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The John J. Boland was greeted by a cold but hearty group when she came in for winter layup on Saturday afternoon, January 12, 2013 (temperature was 17 degrees F with the wind at 16 mph). Just below, the American Century came in at 7:56, Friday night, January 11, 2013. By Saturday morning she was tied up at the Port Terminal (just below). Below that, the Mesabi Miner is seen at her winter resting spot at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior on Saturday. She arrived on January 8th.
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Mesabi Miner first in for winter layup

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20120316_0486The Mesabi Miner came under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge last night (January 8, 2013) at 11:51. She is the first boat to arrive for winter layup. Before taking her place at the Midwest Energy Resources coal dock for the winter, she stopped off at the Holcim Dock in Duluth for some minor repairs. (Above and below; note the red crane in picture above.)  She also stopped at Holcim for minor repairs last March (picture at right) before becoming the first departure of the new season.
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Mesabi Miner comes back for more coal

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The Mesabi Miner came in this morning (March 19, 2012) at 9:15 in the morning, a little earlier than expected, probably making up for the delays she had departing. In each case she was the first of the year, to depart and arrive. Later today, she will be the 2nd boat to depart this season when she takes coal to Taconite Harbor.
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Mesabi Miner leaving? Later today, probably

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After loading coal at Midwest Energy Resources on Thursday, the Mesabi Miner moved over to the Holcim Cement Dock (formerly St. Lawrence Cement) for maintenance work on the self unloading boom. She is expected to depart later today (March 16, 3012) for Marquette, Michigan. The picture above was taken this morning at 7:11; below 18 minutes earlier.
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Mesabi Miner had ice in 2008

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Mesabi Miner at Midwest Energy for layup

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There are 11 Great Lakes freighters in Duluth Superior this winter. Three have been here for extended layup, 8 came in January and are expected to depart sometime in March or April for the upcoming season. The first to leave will most likely be the Mesabi Miner, seen here at winter layup at Midwest Energy Resources on February 13th. Typically, the boat at Midwest Energy will load coal for a Lake Superior port, perhaps twice before the Soo Locks open, usually on March 25, when the full Great Lakes shipping season begins. Typically, the Mesabi Miner will leave around March 15; check here for updates.

Mesabi Miner here for the winter

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The Edwin H. Gott will be the last boat to come in for winter layup. This morning (January 17, 2012), the Mesabi Miner (above) arrived here after delivering her last cargo of the season in Taconite Harbor. She will spend the winter at the Midwest Energy Resources coal dock in Superior. That will make it real convenient to start the 2012 season in only two more months. She will likely load more coal for a port within Lake Superior, before the Soo Locks open (usually around March 25th). The Miner may get two  coal deliveries done by then. See video below.

The Cason J. Callaway passes by the Mesabi Miner in the Duluth harbor

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At 7:15 this morning (November 25, 2011), the Cason J. Callaway (at left)  came under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge with limestone as the Mesabi Miner was departing with coal for Detroit Edison.

Listen to the Mesabi Miner depart Duluth

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It was a beautiful Fall day in Duluth (October 15, 2011) when the Mesabi Miner departed the port after loading iron ore pellets at the CN dock in West Duluth. Click above to listen to her whistle.

Bringing fish in; getting coal to take out

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The Mesabi Miner made a surprise visit to the Twin Ports today (July 26, 2011), first for fuel and then over to Midwest Energy to load coal. The fishing boat Opti 1 came in at the same time, hopefully with a cargo of fish.

Big news–no fog-see boats

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The Frontenac (center) came under the Lift Bridge at 6:41 this morning (June 23, 2011) and went to the Murphy Fuel Dock to get fuel. The American Integrity (right) came under the Lift Bridge an hour and 6 minutes later. She was waiting for the Frontenac to complete before getting  fuel  herself and then going to the CN dock to load iron ore pellets. The Integrity slowed down, almost to the stop  just after moving around the turning buoy. The Mesabi Miner (left) was approaching the Lift Bridge, noticed the Integrity sitting there and called  up to determine where the two boats should be after the Miner arrived in the harbor. The Integrity gave her a choice, the Miner said, ok, how about you move over behind the Frontenac and I will pass on the left on my way to Midwest Energy Resources to load coal. And that is how the above picture came into be.

Foggy April morning in Duluth

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The snow is gone, most of the ice has vanished; Duluth is the usual April shade of brown. Happily, this morning (Thursday, April 7, 2011), the fog moved in and prettied the place up a bit. Above, the Vista Star and the William A. Irvin survived the winter in good shape; unfortunately the Blue Bridge is still there, but after a slow journey from the Midwest Energy coal dock in Superior, the Mesabi Miner finally departed the port with 58,000 tons of coal for Presque Isle . It seemed like the Aerial Bridge was the only place the fog lifted even a little bit. I could not see the Miner once she got beyond the bridge, just as I could hardly see her very well as she approached the bridge.
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Paul R. Tregurtha meets Mesabi Miner

Mesabi Miner passes by the Island Skipper

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On Friday afternoon, November 5, 2010, the Mesabi Miner came under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge for the 37th time this season, on her way to load coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior. She was coming from Taconite Harbor and at 01:42 this morning (November 6), she departed Duluth for a return trip to Taconite Harbor to deliver a cargo of coal. You can see the Greek flagged Island Skipper at anchor waiting to come in, probably on Monday, to load grain. She was last in the Twin Ports in November, 1998.

Out with the new and in with the old …

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As the sun was going down on Wednesday evening, October 5th, the 1,004 foot Mesabi Miner was departing the port with 58,000 tons of coal for Presque Isle, Michigan while the Canadian flagged Quebecois, only 730 feet long, was coming in with a cargo of cement for Holcim (formerly St. Lawrence Cement). While in the picture, the two pilot houses are passing just next to each other, the Miner pilot house is on her stern and the Quebecois pilot house is on her bow. The Quebecois is showing her age. Built in 1963, that’s where they put the pilot house then. A decade or so later, that long standing tradition was turned around and boats were built with the pilot house at the stern of the boat.
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