Thursday, March 29, 2012

Duluth Harbor Boat Traffic for Wednesday 3/28/2012

Algomarine departed at 06:45
Mesabi Miner arrived at 10:00
Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin departed at 10:40
Mesabi Miner depart at 21:30

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Duluth Harbor Boat Traffic for Tuesday 3/27/2012

Great Lakes Trader/Joyce L. Van Enkevort departed at 00:40
Burns Harbor arrived at 01:03
James R. Barker departed at 02:01
Algomarine arrived at 06:26
Alpena arrived at 07:04
Frontenac departed at 10:40
Katmai Bay arrived at 11:35
Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin arrived at 16:10
Walter J McCarthy arrived at 18:15

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Frontenac Enters Port 3/

The Laker Frontenac made it's way through high seas on Monday to enter the calmer waters of the Duluth Harbor. The Frontenac will be loading iron ore pellets at the CN dock.

Duluth Harbor Boat Traffic for Monday 3/26/2012

 Good to see a busy harbor on Monday!

Great Lakes Trader/Joyce L. Van Enkevort arrived at 04:10
Paul R. Tregurtha departed at 05:32
CSL Assiniboine arrived at 05:53
James R. Barker arrived at 06:11
Lee A. Tregurtha departed at 10:30
Philip R. Clarke arrived at 12:30
CSL Assiniboine departed at 15:23
Frontenac arrived at 19:20

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Duluth Harbor Boat Traffic for Sunday 3/25/2012

Birchglen departed at 03:05
Michipicoten departed at 03:17
Lee A. Tregurtha arrived at 16:20
Paul R. Tregurtha arrive at 18:00

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Duluth Habor Boat Traffic for Saturday 3/24/2012

Edwin H. Gott (US) departed at 00:37
Michipicoten (CA) arrived at 08:03
Birchglen (CA) arrived at 10:40
Roger Blough (US ) departed at 14:50

Friday, March 23, 2012

Duluth Harbor Boat Traffic for Thursday 3/22/2012

Fog and the Mesabi Miner departure were the highlight of the day once again. I love watching the fog and hope you don't mind the extra video.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fog Banks and Mesabi Miner 3/21/2012

Heavy fog once again rolled in and out of the Duluth Harbor like waves off of Lake Superior.  The 1000 ft Mesabi miner arrived at 21:00 navigating through the fog in the dark making for an interesting interaction of weather and steel.
For your interest, I have added a few more minutes of fog rolling across the Aerial Lift Bridge.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Fog Blanket over the Harbor (3/20/2012)

For an hour last night a thick blanket of fog moved across the harbor in an beautiful display of lake effect weather.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Shipping Start-up Heads Up!

Just thought I would pass along some interesting information released by the Port Authority about the upcoming  shipping season.


Duluth, Minn., USA—Maritime traffic for the 2012 shipping season is set to get underway this week in the Port of Duluth-Superior with the anticipated departure of the Mesabi Miner in the early morning hours of Friday, March 16.

Having wintered at Midwest Energy Resources Company’s Superior terminal, the vessel is scheduled to be “first out” of the port this season – loaded with coal and headed for Presque Isle, Mich. This will be the first of her three intra-lake deliveries prior to the opening of the locks at Sault Ste. Marie (“Soo Locks”) at 0001 h on Sunday, March 25. The John G. Munson is also scheduled to take on an early season coal cargo in the Twin Ports on March 20 for delivery across Lake Superior.

Thanks, in large part to minimal ice cover on the Great Lakes this year, the Port of Duluth-Superior will start to see a handful of Canadian-flag lakers arriving next weekend (March 23-24) from winter layup in Thunder Bay to take on cargo bound for the lower lakes. They will then secure their place in line with the rest of the downbound traffic at the Soo Locks prior to opening. Likewise, there will be a line-up of upbound lakers on the eastern side of the Locks, which means the Twin Ports will likely see regular maritime traffic patterns resume that last week of March. Of the vessels that spent the winter here in the Twin Ports, deck departments on eight will begin showing up for fit-out this week and next, including crews of the: Edwin H. Gott, Roger Blough, American Spirit, American Century, Walter J. McCarthy and John J. Boland (in addition to the Munson and Miner). The American Victory and Edward L. Ryerson will remain in layup at Fraser Shipyards where they have been since 2008 and 2009, respectively.

The opening of the Soo Locks each year marks the official start to the 2012 Great Lakes commercial navigation season. The Soo is the gateway that allows vessels – some measuring more than 1,000 feet in length – to move raw materials like iron ore, coal, limestone, cement and salt between Lake Superior and Lakes Michigan, Huron and Erie. It is also one of 16 sets of locks along the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway (GLSLS) that allow oceangoing ships (“salties”) to move breakbulk and project cargoes into this nation’s heartland and deliver Midwestern grains to Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

It’s a bit harder to predict the arrival of the Port’s first oceangoing vessel – what will be the first “saltie” to transit the full GLSLS system in 2012. The Seaway locks (the Montreal/Lake Ontario section and the Welland Canal) will reopen for business on March 22, but Duluth-Superior won’t see
its first saltie in port until a few weeks later. That “first ship” to pass beneath the Aerial Lift Bridge in April will be greeted by maritime officials with a welcoming ceremony and will also qualify a winner for the annual “First Ship Contest” sponsored by the Duluth Seaway Port Authority and Visit Duluth. Last year, the Port’s first saltie, the Federal Leda, arrived on April 11.

“There were some ups and downs during 2011, though the Port of Duluth-Superior ended last year’s shipping season on a positive note – topping 37 million short tons,” noted Adolph Ojard, executive director of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority, “That performance was led by a 17 percent increase in iron ore shipments and strong deliveries of limestone, salt, cement and general cargo.”

“While it’s too early to speculate on grain, the outlook for 2012 is just as strong if not slightly better,” said Ojard. “Grain exports face stiff competition in overseas markets; spring and durum wheat exports will depend on world supply and demand plus competitive ocean freight rates. We expect to see more general cargo, with at least a dozen shipments of wind components and other project cargo commitments on the books. Coal volume should increase with additional exports contracted to Europe. The iron mining industry is still the biggest economic driver for shipping here in the Twin Ports; iron ore shipments mirror both domestic and global demand for steel and pellet production on Minnesota’s Iron Range. Absent any major changes in the world economy, plants will continue to run at maximum capacity, and the 2012 shipping season should be steady and strong.”

Close to 1,000 ships will visit the Port of Duluth-Superior this year, moving roughly 40 million tons of cargo – iron ore, coal, grain, limestone, cement, salt, wind turbine components and more. The largest tonnage port by far on the Great Lakes, cargo movements through the Port of Duluth-Superior support 11,500 jobs and contribute over $1.5 billion in business revenues to the local/regional economy.

NOTE: All vessel arrival/departure times are estimates and may change without notice.
For updated times, please consult the Boatwatchers Hotline: (218)722-6489 or

Monday, March 12, 2012

CGC Alder takes to the water

With an early spring arriving in the region, the Coast Guard Cutter Alder will make easy work of the remaining harbor ice.
Although fog veiled the cutters activity today, it should be out tomorrow under clear blue skies.

Seems like not that long ago when the Sundew sailed under the Lift Bridge during the 2010 Tall Boats Festival.
We are looking forward to the new season with great anticipation. Welcome to 2012 Shipping Season.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Northern Lights

I couldn't pass up the chance to view the Aurora Borialis ( Northern Lights) last night. At 3:30AM I walked down the road in the light of a full moon. The moon shadows where apparent in the fresh snow, and a nearby hoot owl chimed in as wolves howled on a distant ridge.  It reminded me of how much goes on in nature even at night.

The Northern Lights are always a treat to photograph and this morning was no different.   Here are a few for you and hopefully more tonight there will be more.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

March Sunrise

Springtime is moving in quickly and with the Cutter Alder heading out this week, the harbors ice will soon be history.