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Boreal Community Media

Ship Spotter returns on as shipping season kicks off.

Mar 22, 2019 07:26PM ● By Editor
A sure sign of spring is the return of the Boreal Ship Spotter on the home page 24/7 throughout the 9+ month Great Lakes Shipping Season.   A community service from Boreal Community Media - March 23, 2019  

Learn more about the kick-off of the shipping season from Business North.

From Business North - March 22, 2019

Wednesday's arrival of United States Coast Guard Cutters Alder and Mackinaw signaled that the 2019 commercial shipping season is soon to commence for the Port of Duluth-Superior and the entire region, according to the Duluth Seaway Port Authority.. 

The Alder and Mackinaw made their way across Lake Superior from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, opening a 100-foot lane in the ice that will be widened soon by Canadian Coast Guard Ship Samuel Risley in support of breakout efforts that will also include local tugs from the Great Lakes Towing Company and Heritage Marine. Those efforts will help six vessels berthed in Duluth-Superior get underway downbound with loads in the coming days. Those vessels include (vessel name/winter layup location):

  •  American Spirit (Lakehead Pipeline Dock; Superior.)
  • H. Lee White (Hansen-Mueller Elevator M; Superior)
  • Kaye E. Barker (Fraser Shipyard; Superior)
  • Lee A. Tregurtha (Fraser Shipyard; Superior.)
  • Mesabi Miner (Superior Midwest Energy Terminal; Superior)
  • Tim S. Dool (Fraser Shipyard; Superior)

The Kaye E. Barker is expected to sail Saturday for Two Harbors, Minnesota, where it will load iron ore bound for Indiana Harbor. The Lee A. Tregurtha is scheduled to depart Fraser Shipyards next week and load ore at the CN/Duluth Dock. The Mesabi Miner could be the season’s first commercial vessel to leave Duluth-Superior, as she’s slated to load coal tomorrow in Superior before departing downbound for St. Clair, Michigan.

Several vessels are scheduled to pass upbound through the Soo Locks when they open March 25, including:

  • Algoma Guardian, bound for Two Harbors.
  • Erie Trader, bound for Two Harbors.
  • Great Lakes Trader, bound for CN/Duluth Dock.
  • James R. Barker, bound for Silver Bay.
  • Paul R. Tregurtha, bound for the Superior Midwest Energy Terminal.
  • Stewart J. Cort, bound for BNSF Railway Dock in Superior.
  • Wilfred Sykes, bound for Two Harbors.

Recent warming weather, rain and winds have helped reduce Lake Superior ice cover to approximately 65 percent, however, the U.S. Coast Guard reported ice fields in excess of 12 inches thick still remaining on the lake, along with approximately 16 miles of ice cover outside the Duluth entry. Because of these conditions, and the potential for changing ice conditions elsewhere on the lake, shipping operators are expressing caution about early-season sailings. A deliberate start to the season is expected.

Boreal Ship Spotter - larger view here