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Category Archives: Blatnick Bridge

We were driving back to Duluth from Wisconsin and noticed as we crossed the Blatnick Bridge that the Joyce L. VanEnkevort and Great Lakes Trader was approaching Rice’s Point so we exited the bridge and drove down to Rice’s Point to watch it go under the bridge. You will notice that the Joyce L. VanEnkevort is a tug and Great Lakes Trader is a barge. The back of the former ship has been modified so the tug can insert itself into the barge. Apparently it is far less costly to run a tug/barge combination than it is to run a ship.

A day later I happened to be down in Canal Park when the Joyce L. VanEnkevort and Great Lakes Trader was leaving Duluth Harbor through the Ship Canal.

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Late in the evening I noticed some nice color in the sky over Lake Superior so I decided to take a late evening walk along the lakewalk to the harbor entrance. By the time I had reached the lighthouses I noticed the sky had lost some of its color.

North Breakwater Light

North Breakwater Light

As I looked back over the city I noticed that there were some clouds that were just reaching peak color.

Waterfront

Waterfront

I walked from the lighthouses under the lift bridge toward Waterfront Plaza. The clouds had reached peak color over the hills above Duluth. I took several shots of Waterfront Plaza and the surrounding area with the sunset in the background.

Waterfront Plaza Marina

Waterfront Plaza Marina

Waterfront Plaza Marina

Waterfront Plaza Marina

Water Towers

Water Towers

The sun quickly set so I walked over to Bayfront Park to get some photos of the reflections off of the harbor. There was almost no breeze to interfere with the reflections. The only thing making it difficult was the number of mosquitoes.

Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge

Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge

Blatnick Bridge

Blatnick Bridge

This photo of the Blatnick Bridge from Duluth, Minnesota to Superior, Wisconsin  appeared in Wisconsin’s Great Lakes Calendar.

Blatnick Bridge

Blatnick Bridge

I don’t get a lot of sleep when I’m in Duluth. I’m usually up before sunrise and watch for ships until sunset. On this day I got up for sunrise and drove down to Canal Park. It was obvious there was not going to be a sunrise so I drove down to Rice’s Point. I had been wanting to take some night photos in this area but hadn’t gotten around to it. This is a photo of the Arrowhead and Blatnick bridges.

Arrowhead-and-Blatnick-Bridges-Rices-Point-16-5-_3138

It was the blue hour so I managed to get some photos with a deep blue tint. The Paul R. Tregurtha was loading coal.

Paul R. Tregurtha 16-5-_3143

A bit later I took a photo of the Arrowhead Bridge.

Arrowhead-Bridge-Rice's-Point-16-5-_3162

 

The Eemsborg had been sitting outside the harbor for several days. I just happened to look out the window and noticed it was getting underway and would be entering the harbor.

Eemsborg-16-5-_3679

I jumped in the car and headed down to Canal Park to watch it enter the Ship Canal. Unfortunately the Eemsborg was really moving it out and I arrived just in time to see it sail under the bridge. I tuned the car around and headed for Rice’s Point hopping to get a photo it as it sailed under the Blatnick Bridge.

Eemsborg-16-5-_3682

I noticed there were some ships coming into Duluth early in the morning so I drove down to Canal Park to watch. It’s great this time of year because the parking is free.

The Paul R. Tregurtha, the largest ship on the Great Lakes, sailed in. I photographed it as it entered the harbor then decided to drive down to Rice’s Point to watch it sail into the docks.

Paul-R.-Tregurtha-16-4-_2484

When I arrived at Rice’s Point I checked Marine Tracker and noticed that another ship was sailing toward Rice’s Point. There were a couple of other Boat Nerds at Rice’s point watching the ships. The Mesabi Miner was just making the turn to go under the Blatnick Bridge. The Paul R. Tregurtha had to wait for the Miner transit under the bridge. For some reason the ship was going to back up the Saint Louis River to the docks.

Mesabi-Miner-Rice's-Point-16-4-_1572

Mesabi-Miner-Rice's-Point-16-4-_2524

While I was waiting for the big ships to work their way up the river I took a few photos of the small fishing boats that were heading out into the lake for some Trout fishing. The season just opened so everyone was in a hurry to get out into the lake.

Fishing-Boat-Rice's-Point-16-4-_1679

As we walked out onto Arrowhead Bridge I noticed a Canada Goose just above my head. The other photographers were over six feet tall and the goose was not happy. It reached down and hissed at them. Apparently it has been nesting there the last few years and has been known to attack passersby.

Canada-Goose-Rice's-Point-16-4-_1709

There were also several other Canada Geese nesting next two the Arrowhead Bridge.

Nesting-Canada-Goose-Rice's-Point-16-4-_1608

Canada-Goose-Rice's-Point-16-4-_1631

Once the Miner had gotten under the bridge the Tregurtha started backing up the river.

Paul R. Tregurtha Rice's Point 16-4-_1722

After leaving Observation Park we drove down to Rice’s Point. There were some nice views of the Blatnick Bridge, Midwest Energy Center and Bong Bridge.

Blatnick Bridge

Blatnick Bridge

Bong Bridge

Bong Bridge

Midwest Energy Docks

Midwest Energy Docks

On Sunday morning my wife and I were heading out for a walk along the Duluth waterfront when I check the Marine Traffic on my phone and noticed that the Heritage Marine Tug the Nels J was out breaking ice. We decided to forgo the walk and drive out to Rice’s Point to watch the tug work.

Helen H

Helen H

When we arrived the tug was working at the Calumet Fuel Dock which is a secure area where we couldn’t photograph. I assumed that a ship was going to move from winter layup to refuel before the start of the shipping season and the Nels J was breaking up ice around the dock. I was having problems following the Nels J with my Marine Tracker and discovered the app hadn’t been updated in some time so I updated it. When It came back on I noticed the Nels J was heading to Rice’s Point. I grabbed my camera but was a little late to get any good photos. Just about then my wife noticed another Heritage Marine tug, the Helen H sail out from Howard’s Pocket where the Frasier Shipyards are located. We watched as the Helen H moved back into Howard’s Pocket.

We jumped in the car and drove down to Conner’s Point which offers a good view of the ships in winter layup at Frasier Shipyards. Sure enough the Helen H had already broken ice to free the John G. Munson from the ice. As was getting up steam to move out of winter layup. This was a far cry from last year when we watched most of the day while the Helen H and Nels J tried to free the Munson from the heavy ice.

John G. Munson and Helen H

John G. Munson and Helen H

Duluth has a good collection of Boat Nerds that show up whenever there are boats moving. Many of the folks that were watching the Munson leave were also on hand to watch the Indiana Harbor arrive to end the shipping season at Wisconsin Point.

Indiana Harbor

Indiana Harbor

We watched as the John G. Munson slowly backed out of Howard’s Pocket and under the Blatnick Bridge. It was followed by the Helen H in case it ran into trouble. He Nels J was waiting at out in the Saint Louis River in case it was needed to help turn the Munson.

Helen H and John G. Munson

Helen H and John G. Munson

The Munson then sailed under the Blatnick Bridge past Rice’s Point before turning and then backing into the Calumet Fuel Dock where it spent several hours refueling. The Nels J was on hand in case it needed help docking.

John G. Munson and American Integrity-

John G. Munson and American Integrity-