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A week ago my wife and I drove up to Duluth. As we were leaving I checked the Marine Traffic site to see if any ships would be coming into Duluth during the day. As it turned out there was a large convey of ships on their way from the Soo Locks. Most of the ships were coming to Duluth although a one was going to Two Harbors. I didn’t expect to see them arrive in Duluth because we were going to make a stop at Crex Meadows to photograph birds.

Paul R. Tregurtha

Paul R. Tregurtha

As we neared Duluth I checked Marine Traffic and discovered the ships had not arrived so we headed down to Canal Park to watch them come through the Ship Canal. In total there were six ships in the convoy. This is the largest number of cargo ships that I’ve seen come into the harbor at one time.

Mesabi Miner

Mesabi Miner

This was also the last convoy of the spring. Since the shipping season opened the third week in March ships have only been able to sail from the Soo Locks to Duluth in convoys escorted by Coast Guard Ice Breakers. The ice has just been too thick for the ships to make it on their own.

Tim S. Dool

Tim S. Dool

One of the ships in the first convoy leaving Duluth required a month to make the trip. Normally four deliveries could be made during that time. Some of the steel mills had to close because they ran out of iron ore.

Buffalo

Buffalo

The Coast Guard said it would come to a freighters aid should it become stuck in the ice. As the ships were entering the harbor an ice breaker was working off of the Superior entry.

Jamer R. Barker

Jamer R. Barker

You can still see the ice outside the harbor. As each ship came through the Ship Canal it pushed more ice into the harbor. It took a couple of hours for all of the ships to make it into port.

John G. Munson

John G. Munson

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