Veterinarians say hello to Paul

About 100 members of the Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association were in town today (June 23, 2017) for a seminar at The Inn on Lake Superior. Lunch break happened at the same time the Paul R. Tregurtha came into port to load coal. They grabbed their picnic lunch boxes and headed down to the ship canal.




3 lighthouses, one 1,000 footer, one aerial bridge and

queenbeatrix… royalty at anchor off the Duluth piers. The Royal Wagenborg company in The Netherlands usually adds a –borg at the end of their ships’ name, but not the Beatrix, a ship they launched in 2009 with the help of their Queen Beatrix. Queens stand alone; you do not rename your Monarch. The ship was christened by HM Queen Beatrix herself. Despite the fact the the Queen abdicated her crown in 2013, her ship still proudly sails the world’s oceans. And she makes due with a golden carriage. Oh yes, her namesake is at anchor off the Duluth piers. And oh yes, that is the Paul R. Tregurtha coming under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge this morning (April 15, 2017) at noon.

Lee A. Tregurtha is 4th boat to leave

2017-0323-1311 The Lee A. Tregurtha left Duluth at 4:00 this afternoon, March 23, 2017. She was the 4th laker to depart Duluth in the new season. The Paul R. Tregurtha is likely to be the first laker to arrive in the Twin Ports although she has not left yet. She is expected to depart later tonight with coal for Silver Bay, giving her time to get back for more coal and celebrate her status of 5th laker out/first laker in!!

Season 2017 begins tomorrow

2017 Commercial Shipping Season gets underway Wednesday in Port of Duluth-Superior, from Duluth Seaway Port Authority


240802-1-096Duluth, Minn., USA (March 21, 2017)— The first U.S.-flag lakers are expected to depart the Port of Duluth-Superior tomorrow, Wednesday, March 22, signaling the start of the 2017 commercial shipping season at this, the farthest inland port on the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway system.

Exact times are difficult to pinpoint during start-up (i.e. ‘fit-out,’ in industry terms), but the first departure may very well take place while most folks are still asleep! The Roger Blough is expected to leave its berth at the Clure Public Marine Terminal at first light Wednesday and depart beneath Duluth’s famed Aerial 210827-113Bridge en route to the CN Docks in Two Harbors to load iron ore. After fueling late afternoon/early evening, another Great Lakes Fleet vessel, the Philip R. Clarke, will also head to Two Harbors to take on its first cargo of the season. Both vessels, with deliveries to make to steel mills on the Lower Lakes, will proceed across Lake Superior toward Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., to await the opening of the Soo Locks at 12:01 a.m. on Sat., March 25. The Blough is expected to be the lead ship downbound as she was in 2016.
2007Sep16_2810PRODInterlake’s flagship, the 1013.5-ft Paul R. Tregurtha, wintered at the Superior Midwest Energy Terminal and is scheduled to load coal there Wednesday, then move to the Clure Terminal for final preparations before leaving for Silver Bay tomorrow night/early Thursday. After discharge, that vessel will return to Superior to load coal for its first inter-lake delivery to the St. Clair Power Plant in Michigan.

Two more Interlake Steamship Co. freighters that wintered in the Twin Ports – the Lee A. Tregurtha and the Herbert C. Jackson – are expected to depart late Wednesday, as well. The Lee A. is in position to leave Fraser Shipyards first, sometime midday. Both vessels will stop to fuel at the Calumet dock in Duluth before heading out to Two Harbors and Silver Bay, respectively, to load iron ore.

The Burns Harbor is due to move from its layup berth to the BNSF Railway Dock to load iron ore Wednesday before departing via the Superior Entry. American Century is set to leave Thursday to load in Silver Bay while fleet mate, the American Spirit, is expected to move to the CN Duluth Dock to load iron ore over the weekend before getting underway.

NOTE: All vessel departure/arrival times are estimates and are subject to change without notice.

With the Soo Locks opening Saturday and virtually ice-free conditions across the Lakes, Port of Duluth-Superior could see its first arrival from the Soo on Sunday, most likely the Stewart J. Cort, the James R. Barker or the Cason J. Callaway, but that’s still too close to call. For updates, Watch real-time transits at or or on mobile devices with Marine Traffic or Ship Finder apps.

Old year and Happy New year

I am not a big fan of the ‘Christmas tree’ you see in the middle of the picture above rising up in front of the Frontenac as she came into port on Saturday morning, December 31, 2016. The lights are out at Bentleyville for another year, and soon, I hope, the tree will be gone. By then most of the vessel traffic will be over, but I will patiently wait for the new season, when the leaves will return to the trees, the branches of which are now visible framing my picture. But I am not complaining.  Below, is an unobstructed view of the Frontenac but by then, the sun was not a big help to my picture, but I am not complaining. Most should be so lucky to have Christmas trees, leaves and the sun to worry about.
The Frontenac was here to load iron ore pellets at the CN in West Duluth. She departed, this morning at 5:00 (above). Below, the Whitefish Bay departed the port this morning, January 1, 2017, after discharging a cargo of salt at the Hallett #8 dock in Superior. I think she left here on her way to load iron ore pellets at the BN.
With the Western end of Lake Superior available for parking this afternoon, the Paul R. Tregurtha sat just behind the American Integrity above, at the right, and below, a little closer. They were I think both waiting to load iron ore pellets at Two Harbors. But it is dark outside and AIS is still recovering  from New Years Eve, as I guess are all my usual sources. So I will go home and watch the last football game of the regular season.2017-0101-0603

Meeting in Duluth harbor

The Paul R. Tregurtha and the tall ship Pride of Baltimore met in the Duluth harbor this morning around 10. The Tregurtha was leaving with another cargo of coal for Detroit Edison, the Pride was out for another ride for some lucky passengers. Both endured more gloom and even a little drizzle.

Clay and limestone in; coal and iron ore pellets out

Above, after arriving Duluth under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge at 8:45 this morning (June 02, 2016), the Paul R. Tregurtha stopped by the Calumet Fuel dock for fuel before going to Midwest Energy Resources to load 66,000 tons of coal for Detroit Edison. In front of her, the Trudy is still discharging a cargo of clay at the Port Terminal. Just below, the Cason J. Callaway arrived Duluth at 11:25 this morning with limestone. Twenty five minutes later, she passes by the two vessels at the Port Terminal on her way to discharge her cargo at the C. Reiss Dock before moving over to the CN dock to load iron ore pellets. Ten minutes later (below), the Tregurtha moves away from the dock to make the short trip up the St. Louis River to the Midwest Energy dock.

Cold, windy and rainy but still working

After arriving Duluth on Sunday to load 66,000 tons of coal for the Detroit Edison power plant at St. Clair, Michigan, the Paul R. Tregurtha is seen above making her turn into the Duluth harbor, on her way out, officially going under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge at 11:45 this morning, April 25, 2016. She is passing by the Vancouverborg and Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. docked at the Port Terminal. The Vancouverborg came into port at 1:22 this morning and is waiting to load grain at CHS in Superior. The McCarthy is behind her fueling at the Calumet Fuel Dock. She will probably depart there for the BN terminal to load iron ore pellets.

Last vessel of the season

The Paul R. Tregurtha made a beautiful entry into the Duluth harbor this morning at 9:23. It was her 46th and last visit of the season, as she was the last vessel to come under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge this season.

Paul R brings Detroit Free Press to Duluth

The Paul R. Tregurtha came under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge this morning at 9:00. Jim Schaefer, reporter for the paper, was streaming the arrival live via Periscope from his cell phone. My guess is, this is the first live video from a boat coming under the Bridge. Periscope is a program recently published by Google that allows live streaming via cell phone, which is to say we now all have  television stations in our pocket. And I thought the World Wide Web was impressive. This may be the best way to follow the trip, or, if they are leaving the boat here, to see their past videos of the trip.
and follow Jim on Twitter: @DetroitReporter where you will be notified when he goes live; at least a couple times yet today. Only 3  problems; like a lot of new cell phone camera persons, it is a little bumpy and Periscope has not yet learn how to do landscape. And worst of all, Jim calls those of us watching from the dock, Freighter Watchers. I have informed him, via Twitter, that we are Boatwatchers.

Last trip for the Tregurtha this year

Sometimes in the winter, the hardest thing for a boat to do is make a dock; even if the course thru the ice is not much of a problem. A 1,000 footer weighs a lot and can brush aside a lot of loose ice as it goes thru the harbor. Moving all 1,013 feet up against a dock is another story. Loose ice, easy to go thru in open water, compresses as the vessel moves closer to the dock; a tug is often needed to not only break up the ice but also flush the ice away from the dock, leaving room for the boat to move up against the dock and tie up. If the ice is not cleared, the vessel does not make the dock. Here, after coming under the Lift Bridge and moving up the harbor, the Paul R. Tregurtha points her bow to the dock, allowing a deck hand to drop down to the dock to secure the bow. The rest of the boat slowly closes toward the dock, carefully, and often with the help of a tug, pushing the loose ice out of the way. You can see the tug at the far right, moving out of the way after breaking up the ice. That was at 1 pm on Sunday, January 11, 2015. After taking on fuel at Calumet, she then moved over to Midwest Energy to load her last cargo of coal of the season. She left at 4:56 the next morning with 66,000 tons of coal for Detroit Edison. Another trip here was planned but has apparently been canceled, making this her last and 41st visit this season. Last year, without a late start due to ice, the Tregurtha was here 49 times.

Celebrate 2015 in Duluth

Above, the Lee A. Tregurtha started things off in the new year when she departed Duluth at 8:24 in the morning on January 1, 2015. The Paul R. Tregurtha, below, was the first boat to arrive in the Twin Ports this year at 3:17 in the afternoon. In between those two, the Mesabi Miner left at 9:51 in the morning and the Stewart J. Cort departed via the Superior entry at 11:40 am. The Paul R. left the Twin Ports this morning (January 2) at 8:47 with 66,000 tons of coal for Detroit Edison. She is expected to make two more trips here this season, loading coal for Detroit Edison on the last trip, now set to arrive on January 11, 2015. The Lee A. loaded iron ore pellets at the CN dock in West Duluth.

Tregurtha departs for Marquette

The Paul R. Tregurtha departed Duluth on Wednesday morning, November 19, 2914 with 66,000 tons of coal for Presque Isle in Michigan. This was her 34th trip here this season; she was here 49 times last year.

Alder and Tregurtha come into Duluth

Late in the afternoon of October 2, 2014, the Coast Guard cutter Alder came in under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge. Half an hour later, the Paul R. Tregurtha arrived on her way to Midwest Energy Resources to load coal.

Paul R not in a good place

“She’s definitely moving” from the tug/boat radio at 6:15 pm
6:18; “just swing a little, not so much moving away”
See Coast Guard statement below
6:29 big storm approaching
tug Kentucky at her bow; tug Minnesota on the stern
7:00 She is free and on her way to tie up at the Port Terminal
Coast Guard responds to Paul R. Tregurtha grounding
DULUTH, MN – Coast Guard marine safety unit (MSU) Duluth is responding to the U.S. laker Paul R. Tregurtha which ran aground near the Duluth-Superior harbor entrance off of the Bayfront Festival Park in Duluth, MN at approximately 3:20 P.M. on September 20, 2014. The Coast Guard is currently monitoring the situation and will board the vessel to determine the cause of the grounding and inspect if any damage occurred. There are currently no reports of injury or signs of pollution at this time. The cause of the grounding is currently unknown and will not be released until the investigation is complete.
The Paul R. Tregurtha, trying to depart the Duluth harbor, did not negotiate the turn toward the Aerial Lift Bridge. These pictures were taken about 4 pm on Saturday, September 20, 2014. She went aground sometime in the hour before the pictures were taken.

Julie, ace cook and photographer on the Martin

My friend Julie Fletcher, the 2nd cook on the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin, took pictures of us as they came in through the Duluth ship canal on June 2, 2014. But I got pictures of her taking pictures of us with her odd looking camera. It is hard to take a picture of someone and wave at them at the same time. (I had told a bunch of folks waiting on the pier for the boat that my friend Julie would be waving, and suggested they wave back while yelling out her name. They did, and several minutes later, when she sent me her pictures, she added this line, “The guys were laughing , i told them that’s my fan club yelling my name”
Later in the day, actually, very early the next morning, my friendly associate Holly and I paid a visit to Tim Dayton, captain on the Paul R. Tregurtha. Holly, under the watchful eye of Captain Dayton, is at the wheel here,  but we were tied up at the Port Terminal getting fuel so no one was injured.  Laughing out loud

What ice

Ice did not stop the Vista Star from cruising out into Lake Superior. Here they approach the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge just after the Paul R. Tregurtha arrived under it to load coal for Detroit Edison. Happy May 28th!

Two offices, up and down, back and forth

Photo Monday, November 04, 2013 027Every week or so, these two guys work closely together, but until today (November 4, 2013), they had not  met. Dave Campbell (right) is the new chief bridge operator. He works in that little house that hangs in the middle of the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge. His job is to make sure the Bridge goes up when a vessel comes under the Bridge. And when the bridge goes up for a vessel, the little house goes up too. His job is horizontally stable however. (picture, above right, taken in the pilot house of the Tregurtha on November 4, 2013. Picture below taken on July 30, 2006)
Tim Dayton (left) is the Captain on the Paul R. Tregurtha. His office is in the pilot house at the top of the boat. His office does not move vertically very much, but it covers a lot of ground moving horizontally between the Midwest Energy Resources coal dock in Superior and the several Detroit Edison power plants where he delivers his cargo of coal. It takes about a week to load in Superior, take a trip down to Detroit to discharge the coal and then come back to the Twin Ports for more coal. So about 4 times a week, Tim’s office at the top of the Tregurtha goes under the Lift Bridge just below Dave’s office in the little house now high up in the air.

Salt in and coal out

The Radcliffe R. Latimer, formerly the Algobay, loaded salt in Goderich, Ontario and arrived in Duluth this morning (October 25, 2013) at 36 minutes after midnight, moving over to the North American Salt Dock to discharge the cargo. She will next go to Midwest Energy Resources to load coal for Sydney, Nova Scotia. While she discharging salt, the Paul R. Tregutha arrived (background) on her way to Midwest Energy to load coal. This was only the 2nd trip to the Twin Ports this season for the Latimer; she was here once last year. This is the 36th trip here this season for the Tregurtha; she was here 41 times last season. To add to all this excitement, notice the Coast Guard cutter Alder in the upper left, waiting for the ice to arrive.

Tregurtha whistles to the crowd

Click below to hear her whistle as the Paul R. Tregurtha departed Duluth today (May 6, 2013). The Captain has a unique way of doing it and the Bridge usually follows the boat’s lead, as it did today.

Tregurtha back for 2nd trip

She came under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge around 12:30 on April 4, 2013. Click here for more on the Paul R. Tregurtha

Paul R stops for fuel before loading coal

The Paul R. Tregurtha arrived Duluth in the early afternoon of December 18, 2012. She is here to load 64,000 tons of coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior. Before going there, she stopped by the Calumet fuel dock to load fuel.

Tregurtha gets another cargo of coal

The Paul R. Tregurtha departed Duluth at 1:07 in the afternoon of November 20th, 2012 (above). This was her 34th trip to the Twin Ports this season, almost always loading coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior and taking that cargo to Midwest’s parent company, Detroit Edison, for use in electrical generation power plants. Last year at this time, she had made 40 trips to Duluth. The lower number this year reflects her time in the ship yard in August while she underwent repairs after grounding near the St. Mary’s River just below the Soo Locks. For more pages on the Tregurtha in the Duluth Shipping News, check here.

Visiting the Paul R while she loads fuel

paulrtregurthaspecial20121003_5906The Paul R. Tregurtha arrived Duluth 5 minutes after noon (above) on October 3rd, 2012, making her 4th trip here since she went aground in August and then to the shipyard at Bay Shipbuilding for repairs. I visited with Captain Tim Dayton while they were fueling at the Calumet Fuel dock at the port terminal. He was not on the boat when the accident happened but he came back early from his vacation to bring her back to life.
I asked him why he arrived half an hour earlier than the previously indicated time.  (Thousand footers do not alter their speed much.) As is obvious from this picture, the Tregurtha hull was cleaned and repainted while at the shipyard. That made her prettier and it turns out pretty means faster. As a season wears on, boats pick up ‘stuff on their hull’, often green stuff, and the stuff increases the friction between the hull and the water which slows the boat down. With an unscheduled maintenance stop in late summer that included a cleaning and new paint job, Captain Dayton came back with an extra mph boost in speed, at least until the green stuff returns.
Meanwhile, videographers from Holly TV were close by getting some pictures and footage. In the collage, that is Holly-TV tech, Holly, waving to Captain Dayton and I. Later, she took some video of the fueling which you can see below. Click for a larger version of the collage.

The Paul R. Tregurtha is back in town

After repairs were completed at Bay Shipbuilding after she went aground in mid-August and new paint job was applied, the Paul R. Tregurtha arrived back in Duluth at 3:30 on Monday afternoon, September 17th, 2012. As usual, it is nice to say, she will load coal at Midwest Energy Resources in Superior for Detroit Edison power plants in Monroe and St. Clair. And as usual, she will be back in a week to do it again. Welcome back!

Tregurtha aground, now free

Here is a picture taken yesterday (August 15, 2012) by Gregory Garten of the Paul R. Tregurtha, hard aground Wednesday night, completely blocking the downbound St. Mary’s River channel just above the Rock Cut. The vessel is aground at its bow and stern, and the ship spans the width of the narrow shipping channel. Early this morning, the vessel was freed but until checked by the Corps of Engineers, the channel is still closed to traffic.

The Paul R. Tregurtha makes first trip of the season to Duluth

The Paul R. Tregurtha arrived Duluth on March 25th, 2012 for her first cargo of the season, loading coal as she usually does for Detroit Edison, her usual destination for many years. This video picks her up while she approached the Duluth piers and then moves over to the Calumet fuel dock at the Port Terminal  to watch her tying up to the dock to load fuel before moving to the Midwest Energy Resources coal dock just up the St. Louis River on the Superior side.

The Lee A. Tregurtha arrives Duluth to start her season

The Lee A. Tregurtha came to Duluth Superior 16 times last season. You will see her in this video arriving under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge on her first trip of the 2012 season when she came in on March 24th, 2012. The other Tregurtha, the Paul R. Tregurtha, arrived 2 hours later. The Paul R is a regular visitor. She was here 49 times last season.

One Tregurtha out, another in

leeatregurtha20111226_0125 The Paul R. Tregurtha departed Duluth on Monday morning, December 26, 2011 after loading 64,000 tons of coal for her usual destination, the Detroit Edison power plant at St. Clair Michigan. A little over an hour later, the Lee A. Tregurtha (right) came in to get fuel and then load iron ore pellets at the CN dock in West Duluth.  An hour before, the Alder was out in the harbor but there was not much ice to break.

(Click each image for larger version)


Paul R, the Bridge and Bentleyville

At 5:00 Sunday afternoon, December 18, 2011, the lights at Bentleyville were turned on. Half an hour later,  the Paul R. Tregurtha came by to say hello on her way out the door with a Christmas present for Detroit Edison, 64,000 tons of coal. If it is bad to get a lump of coal in your stocking, what happens when you get 64,000 tons of it?

The Paul R. brightens a gray day

The Paul R. Tregurtha, at 1,013 feet 6 inches long, is the largest boat on the Great Lakes. She is  here approaching the Duluth ship canal on her way to the  Midwest Energy Resources coal dock to load 64,000  tons of coal for Detroit Edison  power plants in Monroe and St. Clair, Michigan.
Listen as she saluted the bridge and those of us waving:

Another visit from the Paul R.

The Great Lakes freighter Paul R. Tregurtha arrived in Duluth to load coal on December 21st, 2010. She is here about once a week throughout the shipping season that runs between mid March to mid January. It was a typical grey day in December in Duluth.

Paul R. Tregurtha meets Mesabi Miner

The Paul R. Tregurtha in Twin Ports for coal

The Paul R. Tregurtha departs Duluth …

on August 31, 2010 with a cargo of coal. This video came from the live video stream Duluth Shipping News provides at

Paul R. Tregurtha departs Twin Ports

The officers and crew on the Paul R. Tregurtha (pictured departing the port in September, 2007) will be working an almost normal 7 to 4 shift today. They are due here around 7 this morning to load coal and should finish up and depart later in the afternoon for Detroit Edison power plants in St. Clair, Michigan. Not much is normal at the dock at the DECC however. The EPA vessel Lake Guardian is there now and the security fencing is going up as we await the arrival of a tall ship, the Denis Sullivan on Friday and the first visit of the cruise vessel Clelia II on Saturday. That activity will push the Lake Guardian out to the anchorage beyond the piers to wait for the dock to open up again, probably early next week. They are here to host an educational program on July 7th for 4th through 10th grade teachers put on by the Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) and Minnesota Sea Grant. Photo taken on September 06, 2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 06-30-2009

Paul R. helps make a wish come true

Four year old Eliot Kramer had a date with the Paul R. Tregurtha on Friday morning. He was in the house on the Lift Bridge, waiting for the Tregurtha to arrive (above). Eliot has leukemia and the Make-A-Wish Foundation had arranged to grant him his wish to blow the Lift Bridge whistle when a ship came in. Head bridge operator Ryan Beamer taught him all he needed to know to sound the bridge’s whistle in response to a greeting from the Tregurtha whistle. Tregurtha captain Tim Dayton had been clued into the Make-A-Wish event. Both Dayton and Eliot pushed their buttons for all they were worth. Eliot was so good at it that he was given an Honorary Bridge Operator certificate signed by Mayor Don Ness. And those around the bridge were treated to several more whistles from the bridge. Eliot knew the button to push and he kept pushing, taking good advantage of his opportunity. Photo taken on June 12, 2009
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 06-13-2009

Paul R. Tregurtha here for lots of coal

The only traffic under the Lift Bridge on Sunday was the Paul R. Tregurtha coming (above) and going. We have another thousand footer arriving to load coal today, the Walter J. McCarthy Jr., but it will not arrive until this evening. It will be the 6th trip here this season for the McCarthy. It was here 28 times last season. Like the Tregurtha, the McCarthy loads mostly coal, usually taking it to Detroit Edison. The McCarthy is named after the former Chairman of the Board of Detroit Edison. Photo taken on May 10, 2009
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-11-2009

Paul R. departs, meets Pochard arriving

If we are only going to have one boat in the port today, it might as well be the largest boat on the Great Lakes. That boat, the Paul R. Tregurtha, will make 2 appearances under the Lift Bridge today, one coming in just before noon, and again when it departs about nine hours later on the way to deliver 35,000 tons of coal to the Detroit Edison power plant at St. Clair, Michigan and 28,000 tons of coal to their Monroe, Michigan power plant. The Tregurtha is seen above departing the port (left) on July 19, 2007 while the salt water vessel Pochard, just to the right of the Tregurtha, is about to enter the ship canal. Photo taken on July 19, 2007
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-10-2009

Paul R. Tregurtha working Lake Superior

The largest boat on the Great Lakes, the Paul R. Tregurtha, has been spending a little time on the local, Lake Superior shuttle. It was expected in this morning after delivering a cargo of coal to the Minnesota Power station in Taconite Harbor. It will load coal today for WE-Energies in Marquette. Then on Sunday, it returns to load coal for Detroit Edison, its usual destination. Above, it is entering the Duluth ship canal on April 13th, 2008, after delivering coal to Detroit Edison. That day, it loaded another cargo of coal for the same destination.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-30-2009

Paul R. Tregurtha’s first arrival of season

The Paul R. Tregurtha was here for the first time this season on Saturday evening, loading coal for Taconite Harbor. It will be back today to load coal for Detroit Edison in St. Clair, Michigan. Last year as this year, the Tregurtha spent the winter in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, and like last year, the first stop after leaving Sturgeon Bay was the Twin Ports to load coal. Last year’s trip was much more exciting than this year’s. The Tregurtha had to plow through thick ice in Sturgeon Bay, resulting in a puncture in the port side bow. As luck would have it, a Discovery Channel video crew was on board, later producing a video of the entire trip to Duluth, puncture and all. Ice is bad, a puncture in the bow is worse. Having a video crew on board to capture all the excitement; not so nice. This year, no puncture, no video crew; just a normal start to a year that will bring the boat to the Twin Ports about 40 to 50 times. Very boring; just the way the captain, crew and company like it.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-07-2009

Paul R. departs Duluth for last time this season

The Paul R. Tregurtha came into port to load coal at Midwest Energy Resources at 1:51 Friday morning, as was mentioned here yesterday. It finally left the port with coal for Detroit Edison power plants in St. Clair, Michigan at 3 pm on Saturday (above), about 36 hours later. Its average time in port this past year was 13.2 hours, and that includes waiting and taking on fuel. On this trip, delays were caused by very large clumps of frozen coal. When encountered, the ship loader was stopped until the coal was broken up. Captain Tim Dayton was happy to be on his way since this is the last trip of the year. Dayton will guide his boat and crew to the Soo Locks, then down the system of rivers leading to Lake Huron and then into the Detroit River and St. Clair. After the last coal delivery to St. Clair, he will retrace his trip to just below the Soo Locks and then turn into Lake Michigan and on to Sturgeon Bay for winter layup. Next stop for Dayton is his home in Florida. Photo taken on January 03, 2009
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-04-2009

Paul R. Tregurtha here for coal again

The Paul R. Tregurtha came into port on Saturday afternoon (above) to load 64,000 tons of western coal for Detroit Edison. This is the 46th trip the boat has made to the Twin Ports this season, loading coal each time and taking most of it to Detroit Edison in St. Clair, Michigan. In the years 2004 through 2007, it made 61, 57, 59 and 58 trips here respectively. With the season ending in mid January, it will not get that many this season. At about a trip a week, it may have only 6 or 7 more left. In part, the lower number was caused by some ice damage to the Tregurtha very early in the season. That was repaired here before picking up the first load of coal. It has, like other boats, probably had to wait for a berth at the coal dock a little more this season than in other years, perhaps because Midwest Energy will load a record number of tons this season. They shipped a monthly record 2,665,538 tons in August. Photo taken on December 06, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-07-2008

Paul R. enjoying sunshine on late fall day

The Walter J. McCarthy Jr. was expected to depart the port with a cargo of coal for Ontario Power Generation in Nanticoke just after midnight. It was to be followed by the Paul R. Tregurtha which came in on Saturday afternoon (above) and waited at the Port Terminal for the dock to open up at Midwest Energy. It will leave late in the morning to take its coal to the usual destination, Detroit Edison power plants in St. Clair, Michigan. Photo taken on November 01, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 11-02-2008

Paul R. takes on fuel, wind turbine parts wait for trucks

No ships are in town discharging wind turbine parts but there are a lot of trucks leaving the port with pieces that have been brought here by ship. They are taking them to several wind farms in the Midwest, one piece for one truck at a time. Above, while the Paul R. Tregurtha was in town on September 8th and was stopped to get fuel at the Murphy Fuel Dock, you could see wind turbine parts in what are called lay down areas, waiting for their truck. Even more were just behind the Tregurtha, which will be coming back today to load more coal. Photo taken on September 09,2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-23-2008

Paul R. departing, with a nod to downtown

On Saturday, all the attention was on the 3 tall ships. The Paul R. Tregurtha snuck out early in the morning (above) and then we waited until the afternoon for another thousand footer, the Indiana Harbor, to arrive. Today, the Indiana Harbor probably snuck out already, but the American Century has likely come in to take the Indiana Harbor’s place. All three loaded coal at Midwest Energy Resources. As the last people take a tour of the tall ships late this afternoon, the Kaye E. Barker should be coming under the Lift Bridge to load iron ore pellets. Photo taken on August 02, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-03-2008

Paul R. Tregurtha waits to load coal

The Paul R. Tregurtha may be the largest boat on the Great Lakes but it had to wait its turn loading coal at Midwest Energy Resources yesterday. It arrived off the Duluth piers on Monday morning and dropped anchor until around 6 pm when it made a turn from the anchorage (above) and came into port. But it was only getting ready to replace the American Century. It had come in at 8 in the morning and was still waiting for the Canadian Enterprise to complete loading coal. The Tregurtha and the Century are both 1,000-footers and take around 9 hours to load. The Walter J. McCarthy Jr., another 1,000-footer, was not far out in the lake on its way to the Twin Ports to get in line behind the Tregurtha.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 07-22-2008

Paul R. Tregurtha in line to load

The Paul R. Tregurtha may be the biggest boat on the Great Lakes but it had to wait at the end of a long line yesterday. The Canadian Olympic came in to load coal on Thursday morning at 6:08. An hour and a half later, the American Century came in to wait until the Olympic was completed. Shortly after that, the Paul R. Tregurtha appeared on the horizon and decided to drop anchor off the Duluth piers to wait. The Canadian Olympic left at 1:45 in the afternoon and the American Century moved over to take its place loading coal. The Tregurtha then pulled up the anchor and came in to get some fuel at the Murphy Fuel Dock while it waited for the coal dock. Above, you see the Tregurtha at the fuel dock (on the right). At left, you see wind turbine parts, in this case nacelles, sitting at the Port Terminal waiting to go to a wind farm. Floods in Iowa and other delays have increased the backlog of wind turbine parts at the Port Terminal.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 06-20-2008

Paul R. Tregurtha greeted by visitors

Three thousand-footers will be coming to the Twin Ports today and even though we see a lot of them, 3 in one day is a lot of boat. Or more to the point, a lot of coal and iron ore pellets leaving the Twin Ports. The Mesabi Miner has probably already arrived and would be now loading iron ore pellets before departing under the Lift Bridge around noon. Shortly after that, the Paul R. Tregurtha, seen above arriving on April 13th, will be arriving for the 11th time this year. The James R. Barker will be here late in the day, both loading coal. It will be the 11th trip for the Barker also. There would be a 3-way tie for 11th if the Mesabi Miner hadn’t snuck in 3 trips within Lake Superior before the Soo locks opened in March. With that head start, it will be making its 14th trip here.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-25-2008

Adam E. Cornelius leads Tregurtha into Duluth ship canal

On April 19th, the Paul R. Tregurtha departed Duluth with a cargo of coal for Detroit Edison in St. Clair, Michigan. Two days later, the Adam E. Cornelius departed Duluth, heading for Buffalo with a cargo of wheat. In the picture above, taken yesterday, the Cornelius just beat the Tregurtha to the Duluth ship canal as both were returning from trips to Buffalo and Detroit. But the race was not so close since the Tregurtha had made another round trip to Detroit while the Cornelius was discharging wheat one Great Lake (Erie) further. The Tregurtha has probably already departed the port for Detroit with another cargo of coal. The Cornelius won’t get away until this evening. Coal is faster than wheat!
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-30-2008