Sunday, March 31, 2013

Duluth Harbor Boat Traffic for Saturday 3/30/2013

Federal Hunter (HK) arrived at 01:00
CSL Laurentien arrived at 02:00
Edgar B. Speer arrived at 07:20 (view blocked by fog)
CSL Laurentien (CA) departed at 11:30 (view blocked by fog)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Federal Hunter - (first saltie) Arrives in Duluth

The first saltie of the year arrived in Duluth at 12:50 last evening in a light rain. The 653 foot Hunter arrived for a load of grain and will leave on Monday.
Federal Hunter
Federal Hunter

Friday, March 29, 2013

Duluth Harbor Boat Traffic for Thursday 3/28/2013

Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin
Edwin H. Gott departed at 03:00
Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin arrived at 10:15
James R. Barker departed at 12:15
Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin departed at 19:15
Cason Callaway arrived at 22:10

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Full Moon over Lake Superior

The North Pier Lighthouse in Duluth always makes for a good image to match a full moonrise over Lake Superior. Last night was no exception as the moon poked over the horizon at 8:25 last night.

Duluth Harbor Boat Traffic for Wednesday 3/27/3013

Paul R. Tregurtha departed at 02:25
Great Republic departed at 03:41
CSL Niagara departed at 11:33
American Integrity arrived at 13:08
Biscayne Bay - Moonrise 20:30
Edwin H Gott departed at 23:30
James R Barker arrived at 23:55

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Big Ed Takes on a Load of Taconite

It is no small feat to load 70000 tons of taconite into a 1000 foot boat, but, the Edwin H Gott handled it in stride as it loaded at the CN Ore Docks in Duluth this afternoon.

NEW! Harborwatch Alerts

Harbor Watch Alerts (Updated)

I am republishing this with updated info now that I have experimented a bit. These alerts are  intended for those fanatical folks who, like me, really like watching the harborcams.

If you would like an email or text message when there is imminent or important harbor activity to watch on the  website, email me and let me know whether you want email or text notifications. For text notifications, I will need your mobile phone number.

Alerts will be sent out for the following reasons, when I notice activity and when I am available to send an the alert:
  • Large boats entering the Duluth Shipping Canal
  • Harbor activity of particular interest
  • Weather events of particular interest
  • Harbor events such as regattas, races, etc
  • Alerts will not be sent for routine traffic between 10PM and 5AM

P.S. Once I have entered your email or text # you will get a confirmation request that you must acknowledge.

Lake Superior Sunrise - This Morning

Duluth Harbor Boat Traffic for Tuesday 3/26/2013

CSL Tadoussac departed at 0135
Spruceglen arrived at 0157
American Spirit departed at 0621
Paul R. Tregurtha arrived at 0658
Great Republic arrived at 1100
Spruceglen departed at 1450
CLS Niagara arrived at 2315
Edwin Gott Arrived at 2330

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Duluth Harbor Boat Traffic for Monday 3/25/2013

Monday, March 25, 2013 - Arrivals & Departures
   Mesabi Miner (US) departed Duluth at 03:55
CSL Tadoussac (CA) arrived Duluth at 04:40
American Spirit Fueling

Monday, March 25, 2013

News: Soo Locks opened Today!

The Seaway Shipping Season officially opened today when the 1000-foot Paul R. Tregurtha sailed through the Soo Locks at 12:01 this morning! The Tregurtha is headed for Duluth.
There is a whole string of more ships following her.

Paul R Tregurtha entering port in 2012

Duluth Harbor Boat Traffic for Sunday 3/24/2013

Sunday, March 24, 2013 - Arrivals & Departures
Roger Blough (US ) departed Duluth at 02:13

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Duluth Harbor Boat Traffic for Saturday 3/23/2012

Indiana Harbor arrived Duluth at 12:45
American Century departed at 22:00
 Indiana Harbor departed at 22:00
 Mesabi Miner arrived at 22:00

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Long Boats and Long Shadows

Slow going today as captains and tugs try to maneuver the 1000 foot American Century and Indiana Harbor through thick ice in the Duluth Harbor. Imagine trying to turn a boat the length of three football fields through an ice pack!
With a warming trend in the works, the harbor ice will be loosening its grip on the boats this week.

Duluth Harbor Boat Traffic for Friday 3/22/2013

Tugs clear ice for the Roger Blough as it backs its way into the Calumet Fuel Dock. The Blough finished refueling and moved to the ore docks for loading.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mesabi Miner Leads Out!

Today, the Mesabi Miner pushed through tight harbor ice with the help of the tug North Carolina, as it opened the 2013 Shipping Season.
The Miner negotiated a couple tight turns as it followed a narrow path opened by cutters and kept open by the tugs.
Welcome to the 2013 Shipping Season!

Mesabi Miner on the move!

With moderately think ice remaining in the harbor, the Mesabi Miner will have to follow a very narrow path today as it makes  its way out onto Lake Superior for it's first trip of the season.
Mesabi Miner - 2012

Monday, March 18, 2013

For Immediate Release - 2013 shipping season gets underway

For Immediate Release from Duluth Port Authority                                                                                                         
March 18, 2013                                                                                                                                                                                                             
Sure sign of spring approaching…
2013 shipping season gets underway in Port of Duluth-Superior

Duluth, Minn., USA (March 18, 2013)—U.S.-flag lakers will begin moving in the Port of Duluth-Superior this week as the 2013 commercial shipping season gets underway on the far western edge of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Seaway system. The Mesabi Mineris expected to be the port’s first departure of the season, set for late Tuesday or early Wednesday.    
The Miner is scheduled to begin loading coal Tuesday morning (March 19) at the Superior Midwest Energy Terminal after which the 1,000-footer will move to the Port Terminal to load and install a drive motor for its conveyor system prior to making a cross-lake delivery to Marquette.  She’ll return to Duluth over the weekend to load iron ore at the CN dock then head to Indiana Harbor.  The Canadian-flag CSL Tadoussac is also set to head to Duluth this weekend (from winter layup in Thunder Bay) to load iron ore pellets at CN.
Crews reported for fit-out last week to get many wintering vessels set to sail. Two U.S. Coast Guard cutters (Alder andMackinaw) along with Heritage Marine tugs have been busy breaking ice to open shipping channels and slips around the harbor in preparation for not only the Miner getting underway, but also the Roger Blough, Indiana Harbor and American Century by end of this week. Cutter Biscayne Bay will join in icebreaking operations later this week, as well.
 The departing lakers will secure their places in line with other downbound traffic near Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., to await the reopening of the Soo Locks for the 2013 season at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, March 25.   Likewise, there will be a line-up of upboundlakers on the eastern side of the Locks, led by the Paul R. Tregurtha, which means the Twin Ports will likely see regular marine traffic patterns by end of the month (including the American Spirit, scheduled to depart her winter berth in Superior late next week). 
 The Soo Locks are the gateway that allows lake carriers – 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 allows oceangoing ships (“salties”) to move breakbulk and project cargoes in and out of North America’s heartland and deliver Midwestern grains to Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
               “We ended the 2012 season having moved just shy of 37 million short tons of cargo through the Port of Duluth-Superior,” noted Adolph Ojard, Duluth Seaway Port Authority executive director, “nearly on par with the previous year.  If the U.S. steel market remains strong and the resurgence of manufacturing in and around the Great Lakes basin continues, iron ore shipments should keep a strong pace. Projections for coal exports are up, plus the extension of wind production tax credits should see project cargoes pick up by fall.  Depending on weather patterns and global economies, we’d also hope for marginal improvements in grain exports.  All in all, the Port of Duluth-Superior should see an increase in activity during 2013.”
  It’s a bit harder to predict the arrival of the Port’s first oceangoing vessel to transit the full GLSLS. The Seaway locks (the Montreal/Lake Ontario section and Welland Canal) will reopen for business on March 22, but it may take awhile for Duluth-Superior to see its first saltie. That “first ship” to pass beneath the Aerial Lift Bridge 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 Arubaborg, arrived on April 10.
Of the vessels that arrived in January to winter in the Twin Ports for repair and maintenance,  the John G. Munson and John J. Boland will remain docked until markets pick up pace this season and their services are required. The American Victory and Edward L. Ryerson remain in long-term layup at Fraser Shipyards.
Close to 1,000 ships visit the Port of Duluth-Superior each year, moving roughly 40 million tons of cargo – iron ore, coal, grain, limestone, cement, salt, plus project cargo and more. As the largest tonnage port on the Great Lakes-Seaway, 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. For more information,

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

FOR MORE INFORMATION or to schedule interviews, please contact :
Adele Yorde  (218) 727-8525, Public Relations Manager, Duluth Seaway Port Authority

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Duluth Harbor Boat Traffic for Sunday 3/17/2013

The O'Mackinaw left port this St. Patrick's Day morning after taking a swipe at the Duluth-Superior Harbor ice pack.  The O'Mackinaw headed under the Duluth Lift Bridge on its way to the Apostles for more ice breaking operations.
Watch Ken Newham's video ride on the Mackinaw

Video from Detroit Free Press

Duluth Harbor Boat Traffic for Saturday 3/16/2013

Cutter Mackinaw Arrival at 14:00


Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Big Mack is in Town

After spending the morning breaking ice in front of the Duluth Shipping Canal, the Cutter Mackinaw cruised under the Duluth Lift Bridge this afternoon.  The Mighty Mack is in town to help break up harbor ice prior to the first laker getting underway on Tuesday.

Take a look around the Mackinaw Control Bridge

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cutter Alder Breaking Ice 3/13/2013

The Cutter Alder was once again breaking ice in the Duluth Harbor.

Alder Breaking Ice again today

The CGC Alder will be out breaking ice today under clear blue skies. For the first time this season it will pass under the Duluth Aerial Bridge to take a swipe at the Lake Superior ice shelf.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Alder Breaks the Ice

For the first time this season, the CGC Alder began opening the harbor ice with a routine ice breaking venture.
The cutter will be working in the harbor until the ice is cleared and regular shipping begins in a few weeks.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Ice Breaking to start Monday!

The Coast Guard will begin icebreaking operations in the Twin Ports area on Monday. While normal shipping is a few weeks away, the warming sun is beginning to take it's toll on ice conditions.
View Cutter Gallery HERE.
CGC Alder in 2012

Retired Cutter Sundew (2003)

Spring is here - Coast Guard warns Lake Superior ice starting to thin, shift

Coast Guard warns Lake Superior ice starting to thin, shift
Warming conditions, shifting winds and a sun higher in the sky are starting the annual spring thaw, and causing ice on Lake Superior, the Duluth-Superior harbor and rivers entering the lake to be unsafe, the Coast Guard said Thursday.

Monday, March 4, 2013

A morning for the Birds

As spring approached along with the next snowstorm, local birds are getting active as seen in this picture caught on one of the webcams this morning.