Presque Isle, then the HHL Congo

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After days of rain and fog, Monday morning dawned with fog but no rain and by late morning, not much fog. Time to reward the visitors to the Duluth ship canal with a 2-fer. The Presque Isle was first, in the center background, followed by the HHL Congo which had arrived over night with wind turbine parts to discharge at the Port Terminal. After a short wait at anchor, she followed the Presque Isle in. Built in 2011, the HHL Congo was here twice in 2012 with no trips last season. This is her first trip this season. The Presque Isle is making her 5th appearance this year; she was here 12 times last season.
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A season like no other

Click on any picture to see a larger version

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katmaibay20140409-080This is what I think, but don’t bet on it. The Presque Isle left here on March 22th with a partial load of pellets and I think loaded pellets at Two Harbors and then tried to get to the other end of Lake Superior but had ice trouble and came back here for repairs, arriving on March 29th still with her pellets. Some of those pellets were off loaded into the American Spirit, which had not yet left Duluth. She offloaded pellets to make repairs easier. The American Spirit left here on April 7th with pellets loaded from the Presque Isle. She went to Two Harbors to load pellets and then came back this morning (above) with both loads of pellets. To wait, I presume.
Back on March 24th the Mackinaw, Katmai Bay and Morro Bay arrived Duluth and left here on March 26th. Two days later, on March 28th, the Alder arrived Duluth with an ice-wounded Morro Bay lashed to her side with the Katmai Bay leading them under the Lift Bridge.
convoy Several days later, the Katmai Bay departed to return to ice breaking duties while the Morro Bay stayed here for repairs to her rudder. That happened early this week and she left but did not go very far away. The Katmai Bay returned to Duluth this morning, April 9th  (above), and the Morro Bay was back at the DECC with the Katmai Bay by late this afternoon.
Meanwhile at the other end of the Lake, late this afternoon, the Canadian ice breaker Pierre Radisson left the Soo leading a convoy of boats trying to get to Duluth (Click on the the map above). The Mackinaw was going to be with the convoy but as I write this, she was still at the Soo.
t1140981646LakeSuperior143250m-ps So here is my guess. When the convoy arrives here, perhaps on Thursday or Friday, we will have 5 ice breakers here, counting the Alder. All of a sudden, we will/may have a bunch of boats here to load cargo and then go back out to the lake, I would guess with the help of some of our flotilla of ice breakers. And presumably the American Spirit came back and is waiting to be a part of that convey. Or Not!
You can find the satellite images here: http://coastwatch.glerl.noaa.gov/index.html Just click on MODIS Imagery; Great Lakes MODIS True Color; and then select the lake you want, such as Superior

Spring has sprung again, maybe

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The American Spirit departed Duluth in the early afternoon today (April 7, 2014). She is the former George A. Stinson, originally built for the National Steel Corporation in 1978. When the Presque Isle returned to port on March 29 for repairs to damage from ice on Lake Superior, her cargo was offloaded into the American Spirit the next day. She left port today with that taconite still with her. She will complete a full cargo in Two Harbors.

Another try for the Presque Isle

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First, the Heritage Marine tug Helen H. broke up the ice to clear a path for the Presque Isle to make another attempt to start her season, going to Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets. They then circled around to the stern of the large tug barge to make sure there were no problems. Helen H. then returned to her dock in Superior. The Presque Isle was the first large boat to depart the port since the Mesabi Miner left for Taconite Harbor on March 27th.
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Water and Ice

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We are still looking for all ice at this end of the Lake. Below, top to bottom, the Cason J. Callaway, the Presque Isle and the St. Clair seem happy enough.
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