Saturday, March 17, 2012

Duluth Harbor Boat Traffic for Friday 3/16/2012

Mesabi Miner departed at 14:00 for Presque Isle Michigan. (Lake Superior)


  1. Wish I would have seen the first one out. Thanks for posting the video!!!

  2. Cool! Thanks for posting that! Glad the shipping season is starting up again!

  3. From historic records, do we know where this ranks in terms of earliest?

    1. Here is what the Duluth News Tribune reported:
      The Mesabi Miner is scheduled to depart the Superior Midwest Energy Terminal with coal for Presque Isle (Marquette) during the afternoon of March 15.

      If the Miner holds to this schedule, it would be among the earliest openers for the shipping season on western Lake Superior in at least 15 years. Since 1997 there has only been one instance of an earlier sailing from the Twin Ports; the James R. Barker got underway from SMET on March 14, 2006. The early start that season was due in part to mild weather and minimal ice on Lake Superior, and conditions are similar this spring.

      Since the late 1990s the Twin Ports' first activity is typically a load out of SMET between March 17 and 21, allowing a ship to complete one or two coal deliveries on Lake Superior before the Soo Locks open on March 25. This season the Mesabi Miner is slated to make three Lake Superior deliveries before loading her first cargo for the lower lakes. She's due back at SMET on March 18 to load for Taconite Harbor, on March 20 to take on another load for Presque Isle, and on March 23 to load for St. Clair.

      Also on the schedule at SMET are Birchglen on March 23, James R. Barker and CSL Assiniboine on March 26, Paul R. Tregurtha and Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin on March 27, Cedarglen on March 28 and American Century on March 30. Other vessels in layup at Duluth-Superior typically begin to get underway on 22 - 23 March to load iron ore for the lower lakes.

      The Superior - Thunder Bay rail ferry Incan Superior is believed to have set the all-time record, winter navigation experiments notwithstanding, for an early start to the western Lake Superior season when she arrived at Duluth from Thunder Bay to begin her regular run on March 11, 1987. The Twin Ports' earliest spring arrival of a vessel from below the Soo Locks was the Stewart J. Cort on March 22, 1993.