Click here to visit Great Lakes and Seaway Shipping Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online
2nd annual Boatnerd Gatherings
Duluth September 22-23, 2001

Oglebay Norton departs Duluth. N. Schultheiss


September 23

Oglebay Norton departs the coal dock. N. Schultheiss
John B. Aird moves to the dock. N. Schultheiss
Stern view at the dock. N. Schultheiss
The Paul R. Tregurtha waiting to load. N. Schultheiss
Tregurtha moved forward to make room for the Norton. N. Schultheiss
The Oglebay Norton makes a quick stop to take on fuel. N. Schultheiss
The "bum bus" selling goods at the fuel dock. N. Schultheiss
Panoramic on the bow of the Oglebay Norton. N. Schultheiss
View of the harbor looking north from the Norton. N. Schultheiss
Capt. Pat Nelson. N. Schultheiss
Capt. Nelson and mate John Sarns in the pilothouse of the Oglebay Norton. N. Schultheiss

Norton passing through the Duluth Piers. N. Schultheiss
Close up of the bow. N. Schultheiss
Stern view. N. Schultheiss
Sailing off on Lake Superior. N. Schultheiss
North Pier lighthouse. N. Schultheiss
Saltie at anchor. N. Schultheiss
Arthur M. Anderson loading at DMIR. Steve Haverty
Close up. Steve Haverty
View from across the harbor. N. Schultheiss

Video of the Norton departing (5.4 meg) Video departing SMET and then the Ship Canal.
Your web browser should have the correct media player installed to view the video. If not, follow the link to download for free.  Media Player.  If you experience play back trouble (choppy video) save the file to your computer and watch it locally.

September 22

St. Lawrence Cement Terminal
N. Schultheiss
The cement silos are the tallest structures in the Duluth harbor. Through out the shipping season straight deck bulk freighters carry cargoes of cement from the Mississauga, Ontario plant to the Duluth terminal.  The freighters are unloaded using shore side equipment and the cement is stored in one of the five silos. The cement is then shipped by rail or truck to sites throughout the region.

Cement Terminal from the water.
Terminal manager David Sobczak explains the controls inside the terminal.
Unloading arm.
Panoramic view.
From the unloading rig the cement enters the silos by conveyor.
The bottom of one of the five silos.
Access to the "penthouse" (top of the silos) is via a three person elevator.
The silos are the tallest structure in the harbor.
Roger Blough in lay-up.
The view from the top is incredible. (panoramic looking from North to East)
Another view.
Panoramic looking from the South West to North.

South Pier Lighthouse. N. Schultheiss
Pilothouse of the Irvin L. Clymer as is sits on the edge of the Duluth Harbor Basin. Steve Haverty
Profile N. Schultheiss
Passing the G Tug Dock. N. Schultheiss
Federal Welland loading. N. Schultheiss
Another view. N. Schultheiss
Murphy Fuel Dock. N. Schultheiss
John Sherwin in long term lay-up. N. Schultheiss
Close up of pilot house. N. Schultheiss
We pass the J.B. Ford. N. Schultheiss
Close up. N. Schultheiss
Bow view. N. Schultheiss
Joseph L. Block loading. N. Schultheiss
Close up. N. Schultheiss

After the harbor cruise we were treated to a tour of museum ship William A. Irvin by author Jody Aho. Jody's book "The Steamer William A. Irvin: Queen of the Silver Stackers" came to life as he took us on a comprehensive tour of the ship.  Pictures by N. Schultheiss
Jody begins our tour on deck.
We enter the engine room. (note the shining brass railings)
Passenger quarters.
Inside the pilothouse.
View aft from the rear of the pilot house

September 21

SMET tour

We begin our tour meeting with Marshall A. Elder, the Manager of Terminal Operations. The Superior Midwest Energy Terminal (SMET) was commissioned in 1976 to provide for the low sulfur western coal needs of the Detroit Edison Company power plants located in southeastern Michigan. SMET is owned and operated by Midwest Energy Resources Company (MERC), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Detroit Edison Company.

With the down turn in the steel industry, some 1,000-footers have increased their participation in the western coal trade loading at the dock.  For the 2001 season, SMET's shipments stand at 12.1 million tons, an increase of 8.9 percent compared to the same point in 2000.

The coal shipped from the terminal is mined in the Powder River and Hanna Basins out west. Aluminum train sets of 123 cars each transport the coal from the mines to the terminal. The unit trains travel the 1,000 mile route in approximately two days carrying 14,000 tons of coal each trip. Rail service is provided by both the Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Union Pacific Railroads.

Movement and unloading of each unit train is accomplished using a remote controlled car indexer and rotary dumper. Coal can be conveyed directly to vessel or to the storage pile for additional blending and reclaim at a later date.

Coal is moved from the pile using a series of nine variable speed rotary plowfeeders situated under the coal storage piles. A 96-inch conveyor system then transports the coal to the loading dock and traveling shiploader.

Pictures by N. Schultheiss

Patrick Perfetti (left) starts the tour in the operations office.
The board shows a typically busy schedule for the facility.
One of the giant bulldozers used to move the coal.
Coal arrives by train and is unloaded in a building on the east side of the property.
The train will pull trough the giant rotary dumper which tips each car over, dumping the coal into a hopper.
The unloading of the train is managed remotely from the control room.
Train arrives.
Car is lined up for dumping.
Special swivel couplings on each railcar allow the individual railcars to be turned upside down and unloaded without uncoupling.
Starting to dump the coal.
Coal falls to the hopper below.
Another view.
The car indexer pulls the entire train forward to position each railcar onto the rotary dumper.
Inside the control room. Video monitors are connected to cameras outside the building.
Out side, the coal is moved onto the pile.
The train loops around the facility on a 3.5 mile perimeter track.

Video of the loading process.  (6.5 meg)
Video starts with loading on the Oglebay Norton and then shows how the rail cars are unloaded.
Your web browser should have the correct media player installed to view the video. If not, follow the link to download for free.  Media Player.  If you experience play back trouble (choppy video) save the file to your computer and watch it locally.

Indiana Harbor arrives. Steve Haverty
Heading under the bridge. Steve Haverty
Joseph L. Block enters through the piers. Steve Haverty
Entering Duluth's inner harbor. Steve Haverty
View from across the harbor. N. Schultheiss
Close up as it heads for the ore dock. N. Schultheiss
Millenium Osprey outbound. Steve Haverty
Passing the inbound Indiana Harbor.  N. Schultheiss
Stern view.  N. Schultheiss
Pilot boat Sea Falcon ready for pilot change on the Millenium Osprey. N. Schultheiss
Pilot change complete. N. Schultheiss
Indiana Harbor turning to back to SMET.  N. Schultheiss
Turn almost complete. N. Schultheiss
Panoramic of the Indiana Harbor backing to the coal dock. N. Schultheiss
At the dock. N. Schultheiss
J.B. Ford at dock. Steve Haverty
Close up. Steve Haverty
CSL Tadoussac loading at DMIR. Steve Haverty
CSL Tadoussac outbound under the Blatnik Bridge. Steve Haverty

September 20

Thursday the Herbert C. Jackson was loading grain at the Peavey Elevator in Superior, WI. The cargo was destine for Buffalo, one of many upcoming trips.

Like other ships carrying bulk cargoes in addition to grain, special procedures are taken to prepare the cargo holds. They are cleaned and dried before loading the cargo. The open spaces in the gates at the bottom of the cargo hold are sealed to prevent the cargo from running into the conveyor tunnels.

The Jackson finished loading and then moved across the harbor to Murphy Fuel. She completed a 180-degree turn in the harbor and then effortlessly backed to the fuel dock. The dock's location and ship's fuel connection locations make it necessary for the vessel to face with its bow pointing to Superior.

The Jackson finished fueling and departed about 9:00 p.m. sailing out the ship canal bow first, it is expected to arrive in Buffalo in three days.

Pictures by N. Schultheiss
Loading at Peavey.
looking forward on deck.
Workers from the elevator load the grain from the deck of the Jackson.
Grain flows into the cargo hold.
Looking aft from the forward cabins.
Panoramic view.
Pilothouse is a mix of old and new.
Loadmaster computer in the pilothouse with modern navigation systems in the background.
Electronic chart shows the position.
Draft-O-Meter shows loading in almost complete.
Fleetmate Mesabi Miner loads nearby at SMET.
Away from the dock (John Sherwin can be seen at its lay-up dock in the back ground).
Starting the turn.
Half way through the turn.
Backing to the fuel dock.
Crew members are landed.
Lines secured.
Winches used to tighten the lines.
Fuel line onboard.
Capt. Joseph Ruch (right) and First Mate Dennis Mihalek supervise.
Bow thruster engine fuel.
Jackson fueling.
180-degree view.

Kinsman Independent loading at the Cargill Elevator.

My thanks to all who made the weekend's events possible: Steve Haverty and Al Miller; David Sobczak and Brian Harrison of St. Lawrence Cement; Marshall Elder, Patrick Perfetti and the staff at the SMET terminal; Davis Helberg, Ron Johnson and Lisa Marciniak of the Duluth Seaway Port Authority who provided hats and brochures for all who attended; Ken Newhams of the Duluth Shipping News; the crew of the Vista Fleet; Jody Aho and the staff at the William A. Irvin museum ship.

Return to Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping