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My wife and I happened to be in Duluth during the last week of the shipping season on Lake Superior. There were still a few ships out on the lake. I had been down to Canal Park earlier in the morning to photograph the sunrise but there was no ship activity. When I returned to the condo I checked the AIS/Marine Information from Thunder Bay and notice a ship heading toward Duluth.

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The ship was the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin. It was still quite a ways out in the lake so I kept an eye on its progress. As it approached Duluth my wife and I walked down to watch the ship enter the harbor.

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When we arrived at the entrance to the harbor the Martin was still a ways out in the lake. It was a sunny but cold day but we decided to wait until it came through the shipping canal. I was hoping to catch a photo of a ship covered with ice but the weather had been so warm that there was no ice to be found in the ship or in the harbor.

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We watched it go under the Aerial Lift Bridge and turn make the left hand turn towards its destination dock. 

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Shipping usually ends in mid January when the  close the Soo Locks close. The official start of the shipping season will start on March 25th when the Soo Locks reopen although intra-lake shipping can begin before the Soo Locks open. In 1979 the shipping season remained open all season when ice breakers were used to keep the shipping lanes open. This was just a test to see if it could be done. It was successful but at a high cost to keep the lanes free of ice. With the warm weather of recent years Lake Superior has not frozen solid and consideration is being given to extending the shipping season.

One Comment

  1. Great Photos and I love light Houses!


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