Blough met by large crowd on a beautiful summer day

The Roger Blough arrived under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge this afternoon (July 14, 2017) around 2pm. She is going to load iron ore pellets at the BN dock in Superior but came in the Duluth entry to get fuel at the Calumet fuel dock at the Port Terminal before going to BN.
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This is only her 3rd trip to Duluth this season; she loaded iron ore pellets at BN both times. She made 7 trips here last year. She takes most of her pellets to Conneaut, Ohio but also discharges at Gary, Indiana. She usually loads pellets at the Two Harbors CN dock.   Holly likes nice days in Duluth; she took this picture.

First light, first boat

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The Roger Blough opened the shipping season in Duluth this morning (March 22, 2017) at 7:30. Above, at left, she starts down the Duluth harbor on her way to the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge. Just to the right is the American Spirit, expected to break away from her winter layup berth on Saturday (March 25, 2017) to go over to CN Duluth to load iron ore pellets. The American Century is seen at the right. She is expected to depart on Thursday (March 23, 2017) for Silver Bay to load iron ore pellets.
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Above, the Blough goes under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge this morning; below, there were many folks out to get a picture of the ‘first ship.’ The only ice to be found was a couple spots on the pavement. The harbor, ship canal and the lake (at this end, at least) were ice free.
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Below, Jason Fyten  had his Boatwatcher flag out to celebrate the occasion. Duluth News Tribune Photo Editor Bob King stands next to Jason, waiting for the Blough.
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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, www.duluthboats.com. Watch real-time transits at www.marinetraffic.com or http://ais.boatnerd.com or on mobile devices with Marine Traffic or Ship Finder apps.

Winter layup in Duluth

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That’s the Roger Blough at the left, the American Century foreground and the American Spirit behind her and to the right. See full layup list here.


Coast Guard continues to work with the Roger Blough

The Roger Blough ran aground Friday, May 27, 2016 in Whitefish Bay in Lake Superior. Information and pictures below, courtesy of US Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie, in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. They are ordered from first to most recent
May 27, 2016
Coast Guard crews and the Aids to Navigation Team  from Sault Ste Marie, and the air crew from Air Station Traverse City, Michigan responded. Coast Guard pollution responders, vessel inspectors and marine casualty investigator arrived on board the vessel to assess vessel damage and crew safety. The Coast Guard has dispatched the cutter, Mobile Bay, a 140-foot ice breaking tug out of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin to assist in on-going response operations. The Coast Guard is currently monitoring the situation and overseeing future salvage operations.
May 28, 2016
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Throughout the night, U.S. Coast Guard boat crews conducted hourly exterior draft readings of the vessel while the crew of the Roger Blough also conducted interior soundings to the tanks each hour through the evening. Based on the stabilized draft readings and tank soundings, the flooding appears to be under control. Plans to safely remove the Roger Blough from the reef have begun. A U.S. Coast Guard Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City, Michigan, was launched to provide aerial photos but was diverted due to dense fog.
May 29, 2016
The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Mobile Bay (below, right),  enforced a 500 yard safety zone alongside the motor vessel Roger Blough to protect passing vessels from potential hazards associated with salvage operations. Sault Ste. Marie Vessel Traffic Service has also increased its measures on commercial traffic to ensure the safe passage of shipping near the safety zone.
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The Roger Blough activated its vessel response plan, taking precautionary measures to ensure safety of the the environment. This includes coordination with their oil spill response organization to deploy oil containment equipment as well as underwater dive surveys to more effectively assess the damage and unground the vessel.
“All indications thus far seem to reveal that the damage is in the forward section of the vessel and all fuel tanks are in the rear section,” said Ken Gerasimos, a representative of Key Lakes Inc., the operating company of the Roger Blough. “No fuel tanks are connected to the outer skin of the ship.”
A Coast Guard Auxiliary aircrew conducted an overflight of the area Sunday morning and reported no signs of pollution.
The chance of a fuel spill remains minimal and flooding on the Blough remains stable. The crew remains in good condition.
The National Transportation Safety Board is scheduled to arrive on Monday, May 30, to assist the Coast Guard in the investigation into the cause of the grounding.
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May 29, 2016

Plans continue to progress to safely free the Blough from Gros Cap Reef in conjunction with Canadian partners and company representatives.

May 30, 2016
Responders placed a protective boom around the stern of the Blough strictly as a preventative measure around the location of the Blough’s fuel tanks.
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The motor vessel Edgar B. Speer (above) safely passes the 500 yard safety zone around the motor vessel Roger Blough.
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Lt. Gordon Gertiser, a marine inspector with U.S. Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie, inspects the engine room for possible damage aboard the motor vessel Roger Blough, May 30, 2016, in Lake Superior.
 

At the Soo Locks when it opened on March 25, 2016

Watch the Soo Locks open for the season on March 25, 2016.

Peter Rönna here with wind turbine parts

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The Peter Rönna arrived this morning (above) on her first visit to the Twin Ports. She brought the 15th shipment of wind turbine parts to come here by ship for Minnesota Power. They loaded the cargo in Brande, Denmark, where the equipment is manufactured by Siemens. After the equipment is discharged here, trucks will take the over 2 dozen pieces to the Bison Wind Energy Center near New Salem, N.D. As she moved up the Duluth harbor, she was greeted by the departing Roger Blough, going to Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets after some repairs were made at Fraser Shipyards.
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Roger Blough comes home for the winter

rogerblough20130116_7562The Roger Blough came under the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge (right) at 11:52 this morning (January 16, 2013). She then moved over to the Port Terminal dock (below) before going to Fraser Shipyards for winter layup. Last year, she stayed at the Port Terminal for winter layup. In between winter vacations, she was here for cargo only 8 times this past season, only 6 times the year before.
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Blough here for 6th trip this year

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The Roger Blough arrived Duluth on October 9, 2012 to load iron ore pellets. She left to discharge that cargo in Conneaut on Wednesday afternoon, October 10th (above). It was her first trip here since July 4th of this season; her 6th trip here this year. She was in Duluth 11 times last season. This year, she has usually loaded iron ore pellets at the CN dock in Two Harbors. In all cases this year, she has taken her cargos to Conneaut or Gary. Go here for more posts about the Go here for more posts about the Roger Blough.

HollyTV, live at the Soo, almost

Note: Holly’s most recent pictures will appear at the top of this post so start at the bottom of this post if you are one of those people who like to see things in order.
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I am getting exhausted posting all these pictures here while Holly is at the Soo, probably sitting on a nice chair with her camera on her lap while she waits for boats to pass by her chair. You have to look a little closer to see the Presque Isle moving upbound on her way to Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets. The Soo Locks allow vessel traffic to overcome the 21 foot difference between water levels on Lake Superior and those on Lakes Huron, Michigan and Erie so upbound, a vessel is starting at the lower level and moving up 21 feet. I presume we are looking at the beginning of her vertical journey through the locks.
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Next, she caught the Roger Blough downbound in the Poe Lock for Gary Indiana with iron ore pellets she loaded in Two Harbors.
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Then she caught up with the Flevoborg upbound through the MacArthur lock to Duluth to load grain. (September 10, 2012, about 1pm)
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After a stop in Marquette, the Holly Great Lakes Express stopped at the Soo in time to catch the Algoma Olympic moving downbound  through the MacArthur lock.

Roger Blough leaves Duluth with iron ore pellets for Conneaut.

The Roger Blough departed the port of Duluth Minnesota on Saturday, March 24th, 2012 with iron ore pellets for Conneaut, Ohio. She passed by the Canadian flagged Michipicoten on her way out to Lake Superior. She arrived in port for winter layup on January 14th.