Winter layup in Duluth

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
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.
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.
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.
The motor vessel Edgar B. Speer (above) safely passes the 500 yard safety zone around the motor vessel Roger Blough.
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

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

Peter Rönna here with wind turbine parts

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.

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.

Blough here for 6th trip this year

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.
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.
Next, she caught the Roger Blough downbound in the Poe Lock for Gary Indiana with iron ore pellets she loaded in Two Harbors.
Then she caught up with the Flevoborg upbound through the MacArthur lock to Duluth to load grain. (September 10, 2012, about 1pm)
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.

Four boats to start, more coming

The blizzard with no snow was gone, leaving ice along the shore and Lake Superior calm again. The signal for action in the port. Around 9 this morning, 4 boats entered the ring (the Duluth harbor). Actually, one of them was already there and was the only one still there when the other 3 had gone their separate ways. The James R. Barker (at left) was coming back from Taconite Harbor after delivering a cargo of coal; she was here to get more coal, this time for Marquette. Before she came under the Aerial Lift Bridge, the American Integrity came away from her winter dock in Superior and entered the harbor at the  south end, did a 180 and and pulled up to Murphy Fuel for gas (her stern can be seen on the right side of the picture) In front of her and just barely seen was the John G. Munson, still staying at her winter layup position for a few more days. With all this excitement, the Roger Blough decided to leave us too. Her bow is seen in the middle of the picture as she moved out into the harbor. Below, 20 minutes later she made the turn toward the bridge.

Roger Blough leaves Twin Ports

The Paul R. Tregurtha came into port to load coal at Midwest Energy Resources at 1:51 Friday morning. In the cold weather, it was slow going. By morning, the Tregurtha was still loading and the line for coal at Midwest extended into the outside anchorage with the John B. Aird anchored close in and the Canadian Enterprise farther out. The Roger Blough departed the port with iron ore pellets around 2 pm (above). You can see the Aird just beyond the South Pier light off the stern of the Blough. The Canadian Enterprise is out there but not seen in this picture. Shortly after the Blough departed, the Aird came in and went over to Midwest and took up a position in the St. Louis River just behind the Tregurtha. With the season running short and ice approaching from all directions, every minute counts and the Aird wanted to be ready to move in to the dock as soon as the Tregurtha departed. Photo taken on January 02, 2009
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-03-2009

Roger Blough departs for Gary

After a short wait at anchor off the Duluth piers, the Roger Blough came in late Friday night to load iron ore pellets to take to Gary. Above, it is approaching the Lift Bridge as it departed for Gary on Saturday afternoon. We have seen a lot less salt water ships this season, but we are expecting the Hans Lehmann today with wind turbine pieces. It is the first trip to the Twin Ports for the Lehman which was built in 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 07-13-2008

Roger Blough here 4th time this season

The Roger Blough came into port on Wednesday afternoon (above) to load iron ore pellets at the CN Dock in West Duluth. It is the 4th trip to the Twin Ports for the 858 foot laker. It likely departed the port earlier this morning, heading down to deliver the cargo for use in steel mills in Gary, Indiana. The Beluga Federation, built in 2006, will be here today for the first time. It will load grain. It is only the 11th salt water ship of the season. There will be a waiting line for loading coal from the Midwest Energy Resources Dock in Superior. That may mean we will see some boats at anchor off the Duluth piers while they wait.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-22-2008

Roger Blough here for iron ore pellets

The Roger Blough is due here around noon to load iron ore pellets at the CN Dock in Duluth after getting fuel at the Murphy Fuel Dock. It will take that cargo to steel mills in Gary. Before this trip, the Blough loaded iron ore pellets in Two Harbors, also for Gary. Above, the Blough is departing Duluth on March 24th this year, taking iron ore pellets to Conneaut after spending the winter layup in Duluth. For three days I have been predicting the Canadian flagged John D. Leitch should be here to load coal. Now, for the 4th time, the Leitch ‘will’ be here today to load coal for Ontario Power Generation in Nanticoke.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-15-2008

Roger Blough comes out of the fog

The Roger Blough came in through the fog last night at 6:30 (above) to load iron ore pellets for Conneaut. The Cason J. Callaway is expected this evening. It made 18 trips to the Twin Ports last season, often bringing limestone here and then loading iron ore pellets, usually at Two Harbors. This will be its first trip of the season to the Twin Ports. It is bringing limestone loaded at Cedarville, Michigan and will then load iron ore pellets for the downbound cargo. Both boats are owned and operated by Great Lakes Fleet, located in Duluth.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 04-25-2008

Roger Blough departing for Conneaut

After 3 trips taking coal to Lake Superior ports, the Mesabi Miner was due here last night to load coal for Detroit Edison power plants at St. Clair, Michigan, beyond the Soo Locks. They will open today. Yesterday, both the John G. Munson and the Roger Blough started their season, the Munson going to Two Harbors to load iron ore pellets and the Blough taking iron ore pellets to Conneaut (above). The Blough was the last US built Great Lakes freighter with the pilot house and officers quarters at the bow of the boat and the engine room, crew quarters and galley in the stern. After that, everything was brought back to the stern of the boat as seen in most of the thousand footers and salt water ships we see here each season. Photo taken on March 24, 2008
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-25-2008

Roger Blough at last winter’s layup

After loading taconite in Two Harbors last week and taking it to Conneaut, Ohio, the Roger Blough came back last night to load more taconite, this time at the CN dock in West Duluth. The Blough will also take that cargo to Conneaut. The Blough has a unique 54 foot self unloader that extends from either side of the stern section of the hull. It was built originally to discharge taconite at Gary, South Chicago and Conneaut. Most of the trips the Blough has made to the lower lakes this season have been to Conneaut, with a few to Gary. This is only the third trip the boat has made to the Twin Ports this season. It spent the winter layup in Duluth, as it has for some years. Above, it sits at the Port Terminal in March, 2006 while in layup.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-06-2007

Roger Blough visits BNSF dock

The Roger Blough made a rather rare visit to the Twin Ports yesterday and an even rarer visit to the BN dock in Superior (above). It likely departed the Superior entry yesterday evening with a cargo of taconite. The Tatjana will be here today to discharge one wind turbine. It made one stop at Hamilton to discharge some steel products before coming to Duluth. When it departs Duluth today, it will still have some more steel products to discharge, this time in Chicago. Photo taken on May 17, 2007.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-18-2007

Blough and others going back to work

Today is the day the rest of the fleet joins the Mesabi Miner hauling cargo in and out of the Twin Ports. The Miner came back from Taconite Harbor last night, entering the harbor very slowly due to the heavy fog. With a tug assist to clear the dock in front of the Murphy Fuel Dock, the Miner took on fuel before going over to Midwest Energy Resources in Superior to pick up its third load of coal this season. It should be departing sometime this morning for Marquette. The Soo Locks will not open until March 25th, so all traffic until then is within Lake Superior. Later today, the Kaye E. Barker should leave its winter berth at Fraser Shipyards in Superior to go to Two Harbors to load taconite.The Roger Blough will be moving from its winter berth at the Port Terminal (above, top) to the CN Dock in West Duluth to load taconite. The Edwin H. Gott (above, bottom) will be leaving for Two Harbors on Friday, loading taconite there for Conneaut.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-22-2007

Roger Blough here for winter layup

The Roger Blough, as it does most winters, will be coming to Duluth for winter lay up. It only came here for cargo 4 times this season, each time loading taconite. Above, the Blough spent last winter at the Port Terminal. The picture was taken on March 17th, 2006. It departed Duluth 5 days later to begin the season.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-12-2007

Blough departs Duluth canal for Conneaut

The Roger Blough is expected sometime this evening. It will be loading taconite at the CN Dock in West Duluth, formerly the DM&IR Dock. This will only be the second trip to the Twin Ports this season for the Blough. As it did when it was here in June, it will be taking taconite to Conneaut. The Blough has a unique 54 foot self-unloader that can be moved out from either side of the stern section of her hull. It was made specifically to unload at the ports of Gary, South Chicago and Conneaut.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 07-08-2006

Roger Blough waiting in ice

There is no ship traffic today, but the James R. Barker will be back again tomorrow to load coal for Presque Isle, Michigan. Finally, on Wednesday, two new boats will join the Barker for the new shipping season with four more on Thursday. One of those will be the Roger Blough, seen above on Friday at its winter berth at the Port Terminal. It is waiting for its refurbished lifeboats to return from the shop and be lifted up to the deck, the last major task for the winter.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-19-2006

Blough will take taconite

Earlier this month, the Roger Blough was in Duluth to load taconite for Gary, Indiana. It will be back here today on the 17th trip to the Twin Ports for the boat. This time they will load taconite for Conneaut, Ohio, probably delivering that cargo around November 2nd.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-29-2005

Blough takes taconite to Gary

After discharging a cargo of taconite in Conneaut, Ohio, the Roger Blough came up to Duluth to load taconite for Gary, Indiana. This is the seventh trip to the Twin Ports for the Blough this year.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 08-12-2005

Blough departs Duluth ship canal

The Roger Blough spent the winter in Duluth but it does not come back very often during the season. It will be here today for only the 5th time this year. It will load taconite at the DM&IR Dock in West Duluth and then take that cargo to steel mills in Gary, Indiana. Above, the Blough departs Duluth on October 21, 2003.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 07-28-2005

Roger Blough first out

The Roger Blough spent the winter layup at the Port Terminal (above). It will depart that berth sometime today to go to Two Harbors to load taconite for Gary, Indiana. It will be the first arrival of the year for Two Harbors. The American Spirit will begin loading taconite this afternoon and later today will become the first departure of the new year at the Superior entry.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 03-22-2005

Roger Blough season ending

The American Spirit, Reserve and St. Clair are here for winter layup. The John J. Boland and Roger Blough are expected today. Six more boats are due. The last one, the Mesabi Miner, is tentatively set to arrive on January 16th.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 01-12-2005

Blough takes taconite

The Roger Blough came under the Lift Bridge early last night and went to the Murphy Fuel Dock in Duluth for fuel. It was then expected to move over to the Burlington Northern Dock in Superior to load taconite for Gary, Indiana. This is the 13th trip here for the Blough this season and the 5th time it has gone to Burlington Northern to load taconite. The other trips were to the DM&IR Dock in West Duluth. Photo taken October 21, 2003.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 12-23-2004

Blough is unique

It is hard to miss the unique shape of the Roger Blough. Here it is entering the Duluth harbor with a load of limestone on August 23rd of this year. It will be here today with another load of limestone.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 10-12-2004

Roger Blough has odd unloader

The Roger Blough is expected here around noon today. It will likely take on fuel at the Murphy Oil Marine Terminal in Duluth before moving down the Superior channel to the Burlington Northern Dock to load taconite. Photo taken April 13, 2002.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 09-19-2004

Blough will discharge limestone

The Roger Blough is coming to Duluth today for the 4th time this year. It will discharge limestone using its unique 54-foot unloading boom protruding from the stern of the boat. It will then go to Two Harbors to load taconite for the lower lakes. Above, she is coming in for her winter layup on January 20th of this year.
*submitted to the Duluth News Tribune for publication on 05-30-2004

2003, another spring to remember

                  (Click on any image for larger version)

March 20, 2003: the Mackinaw (below) arrives Duluth.
March 24, 2003: the Edgar B. Speer (below), Edwin H. Gott, and Roger Blough depart Duluth
March 29, 2003: The Frontenac is our first arrival of the year.
April 1, 2003: The Walter J. McCarthy, Jr. (not pictured) departed Duluth, the last commercial traffic until she did it again on April 21
April 3, 2003: The Indiana Harbor tried 9 times to get through ship canal (above) but could not. She left her mark on the ice however (below)
April 5, 2003:
The task for the day was to help the Arthur M. Anderson and the Indiana Harbor depart using either the Duluth or Superior entry. We started the day, on the Sundew, breaking ice around the Arthur M. Anderson (below, center) in the Duluth harbor. 230405-2--004Captain Michael Gapczynski was trying to take his boat through the ice and out the Duluth entry. After making about four ice-breaking circles around the boat, word came to the Sundew from the Canadian ice breaker Samuel Risley that the ice beyond the Duluth piers would not budge. The Anderson returned to her dock.We headed straight for the Superior entry where we would join the Risley, now out beyond the ice jam and heading for the Superior piers. We would use the same plan for the day but at the Superior entry instead.
230405-2--099The Sundew made slow but steady progress through the piers. Just beyond the piers, she was stopped in the ice. I thought we were stuck in the ice, but I quickly found out the word to use was stopped. Of course, it’s a good time to get stuck, I mean stopped, in the ice. A larger ice breaker was waiting to help out just beyond the ice we were stopped in. As a 230405-2--181matter of fact, I suspect that one ice breaker enjoys coming to the aid of another ice breaker stopped in the ice.We were quickly freed and with two ice breakers now in the Superior channel, Sundew Captain Beverly Havlik (center) was happy with the condition of the ice. She decided to offer the captains of the Arthur M. 230405-2--096Anderson and the still waiting to depart Indiana Harbor a chance to take a look for themselves. She called them and they accepted her invitation to board the Sundew and go for a preview ride out to the Superior entry. We turned around and proceeded to the Port Terminal where we picked up our two new passengers.
230405-2--134It was a nice ride out to the Superior entry. Both Captains shared some really good sea stories. Every Captain on the Great Lakes I am sure has many stories to tell of bad times dealing with ice in the Great Lakes.T230405-2--146he story today was about to reach its conclusion. Both Gapczynski and Bill Millar, captain on the Indiana Harbor, decided they should go ahead. We took them back to their boats and returned to the channel to wait for them.
The Anderson, though smaller, went first since her bow was angled. That gave her a better chance to move through the ice field. And, by now, I suspect the Indiana Harbor was not too interested in blazing new trails.
Both boats made it out just fine, with the Sundew sitting off to the side, ready to help, but not needed this time. It was early evening, and at least for me, time to go home
Wednesday evening, April 9, 2003. The Sundew is still breaking ice in front of the Duluth ship canal while the rest of us enjoy spring. Below, you can still see the ridge made by the Indiana Harbor during her futile attempts to escape Duluth last week.The crew of the Sundew parked in the ice and spent Wednesday night on the boat. They were back breaking ice at 6 am Thursday morning. Some of the ice boulders they are breaking off are up to 15 feet high. Like ice bergs, only 1/3 of it is above water. Sometimes a boulder (the size of a small bus) breaks away from a heavier sheet and it pops up quite quickly and dramatically, reaching its own new position of 1/3 above and 2/3rds below water level. The Sundew returned to her dock around 6:30 pm. She will be out again, Friday morning.