There are a number of Great Lakes Ships in Superior for winter layup. The shipping season usually ends in mid January and resumes again around the third week in March. As you can see most of the ships are being worked on while they are in port for winter layup.
Burns Harbor At Lakehead Pipeline
Lee A. Tregurtha At Fraser Shipyards
Herbert C JacksonAt Fraser Shipyards
Paul R Tregurtha At Midwest Energy
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.
It was the blue hour so I managed to get some photos with a deep blue tint. The Paul R. Tregurtha was loading coal.
A bit later I took a photo of the Arrowhead Bridge.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There were also several other Canada Geese nesting next two the Arrowhead Bridge.
Once the Miner had gotten under the bridge the Tregurtha started backing up the river.
Every winter I try to drive around and photograph the ships that are spending winter layup in Duluth. This year there are seven ships that will be spending the winter in Duluth. They will remain in port until about the third week in March when the tugs will start freeing them from the winter ice. Most of them will undergo some maintenance work. This year the Herbert C. Jackson will spend six months in Fraser Shipyards where it will be repowered with state-of-the-art diesel engines.
Edwin H. Gott At Port Terminal
Philip R. Clarke At Port Terminal
Paul R. Tregurtha At Midwest Energy
Indiana Harbor At Embridge Docks
Herbert C Jackson At Fraser Shipyards
American Century At Port Terminal
I had walked down to the DECC to take some photos when I noticed the Paul R. Tregurtha moving down the harbor. I managed some photos as it sailed under the Lift Bridge.
I noticed that the Whitefish Bay was leaving the terminal so my wife and I drove down to Canal Park to watch it leave Duluth Harbor. When it made the turn we could see that it had quite a bit of ice on the bow and superstructure. It had been a wild week on Lake Superior.
We also noticed that the Paul R. Tregurtha was going to be arriving in less than an hour so we waited around and watched it come through the Duluth Ship Canal
So far this summer I’ve not had good luck in my ship watching endeavors. I’ve been to Duluth a number of times but either there were not many ships coming in or they came in during the night or I missed them. This past week I had a very successful day watching ships. I don’t know if eight ships is a record or not but it was the most that I can remember.
It all started just before sunrise when the Paul R. Tregurtha came under the Aerial Lift Bridge. A short time later the Joseph L. Block came down the harbor.
Paul R. Tregurtha
Joseph L. Block
After the Block exited through the Duluth Ship Canal I went for a walk down the Park Point Beach. After a couple of miles I noticed a ship was heading for Duluth so I returned to Park Point and watched the Baie Comeau sail under the Lift Bridge.
The Mesabi Miner was scheduled to exit Duluth Harbor within the next hour but I decided to stop at the newly opened Endion Public House in Canal Park for an early lunch. In the middle of a cold one I saw the Miner heading out into Lake Superior.
Late in the afternoon I headed back down to the Waterfront Plaza to watch the fishing boats come in from their afternoon trip. While I was watching them I noticed another ship heading into the Harbor. It was the Algolake. About the same time the American Mariner headed out under the Lift Bridge.
I knew that several more ships were schedule to exit the harbor early in the evening so I walked back home for a quick snack. Sure enough I had just gotten home when I notice another ship had pulled away from the docks. A quick hike down to the Harbor and I setup to watch the CSL Tadoussac head toward the Lift Bridge. I was in such a hurry to get down to watch the ship that I didn’t realize that a big storm was coming over the hills above Duluth. There were a few sprinkles in the harbor but it looked to be raining to the northeast. About the same time I noticed a rainbow forming over the Lift Bridge.
Right behind the Tadoussac was the Baie-Comeau. There was a beautiful rainbow over the Baie Comeau as it exited the harbor. The Baie Comeau had arrived mid morning and made a quick turnaround. It loaded Tackonite and stopped at the fueling station to take on fuel before exiting the harbor less than 12 hours after arriving. The ships seem to be making a quick turnaround this summer in an attempt to make up for the time lost during the terrible spring.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to see the Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge go up and stay up while the CSL Laurentien entered the harbor and the Paul R. Tregurtha exited the harbor. This is the first time I had seen ships go in and out on the same lift.
Paul R. Tregurtha
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
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.
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
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.
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
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